This is a guest blog written by Ashley Sanford.
So, you’re finally a medical intern, and you feel like you’re at the top of the world when you don on a new white lab coat. But is it really what it’s all about?
Things are about to go on a roller coaster, and you better put on your safety belt, because you’re in for a rough ride. Here are a few tips to help you make the transition from a medical student to intern easier.
Write Your Passion
The first thing you should do is to write down everything which inspired you to become a doctor. Write down how you feel about it and how happy you are about your graduation. Jot down your feelings, passion, dedication, and all the hard work which made you strong enough to be standing in the position you are in right now.
Write it all down on a piece of paper and whenever you are feeling down, demoralized or demotivated, just go back and read it all over again. Things are just starting to get difficult and you’ll find yourself questioning your adequacy and your decisions soon enough.Go back to this piece of paper to remind yourself why you joined this profession in the first place.
Always Remember your Place
While it’s good to feel confident, remember your place. You are no longer a final year student, but an intern. You may have known a lot as a final year student, but now you’re beginning a new chapter in your life and you should accept that you’re like the Game of Thrones’ Jon Snow, who knows absolutely nothing.
It’ll take you time to learn and adapt to your new life and career. You should not in any way feel that you have to impress anyone. Everyone knows that you’re just an intern. Don’t be afraid to take all the time you need to learn something so that you can become more skilled with time. Once you get used to it, it will not take you half as long to do something.
Also, do not be over efficient. You’ll learn absolutely nothing from Gray’s Anatomy or House, because real life is very different and, not to mention, more intimidating. So, all the knowledge you think you have from watching Grey’s Anatomy or Scrubs is pretty much redundant because it’s not as easy in the real world.
Keep Your Professionalism
It’s good to care about your patient and better to stay as involved as you can, but you’ll be making a very basic mistake if you get yourself too attached to a patient. It’ll only hurt you in the long run.
Always remember that the patient is on a temporary stay. Either they’ll get better and go home, or stay with you for a little while longer until they get all better.To keep yourself sane, you must accept that you cannot save everyone.
Understand the patient as much as you can, but maintain a professional attitude. Do not promise what you can’t deliver and don’t hand out false hopes.
Don’t force yourself to do or accomplish something you can’t or are unable to do. Always accept help and if you don’t know something, find someone who does. If something goes out of control and you can’t handle it, get the person who can.
You have to learn to work as a part of a team. Remember that the nurses and even the janitors all around you know more than you.The staff have been at the hospital a lot longer than you and can work many things better.They have seen many interns and residents. Accept it and never forget to ask for help, because you can’t do everything on your own.
Being Scared is OK
It’s ok to be afraid of new things and to get grossed out by a lot of other stuff at first. You’re fresh and new. You have zero experience.You are expected to make mistakes and that is how you’ll learn.
Being scared is not a bad thing because it means you care about your job and your patients enough to not mess things up.
Time for Yourself
Lastly, never forget to take some time out for yourself. Everything else can wait. And even if it feels like it’s the end of the world, it’s not. You should learn to be responsible, true, and you have to do your best to satisfy your patients and know about them. But how can you expect to save lives when you can’t even save yourself?
Your patients need you in a good condition for you to take care of them well. And no, those occasional naps at the janitorial closet are not enough. Take some time out to be with your friends and family. They might not understand everything you have to go through, but remember, they’re there for you.
Ashley Sanford works at Peak Dissertation supervising a panel of professional dissertation writers. When not working, she blogs on topics that relate to her interest such as education, technology, leadership, etc.
Photo by Anna McNaught.