What my classmates and former interns say is true. The days fly by so fast. The nights are gone in a blink. You have patients to care for, papers to write, preparations for the patients tomorrow, discussions on topics with your clinical supervisors, feedback on your performance for the day, case conferences, and journal presentations. That’s just for a regular day. I count myself lucky to have an average of 5 hours of sleep. My co-interns are lucky to have 3 hours of sleep. That is if they did not nod off while doing notes and accidentally wake up just in time to not be marked as late, lest there be make-up duties.
I’m tired all the time. I slept as soon as I got home last night. I woke up near lunchtime. I feel like crap because I don’t think I’m giving my patients the attention they deserve, and I also feel like crap because I barely eat and I can’t find the time to review for NMAT. It’s tough to balance the present and preparing for the future. My allergies are acting up again, to the point that antihistamines don’t seem to help anymore. My back and shoulders hurt (probably because of poor posture while typing notes, and poor biomechanics when treating patients). I can’t find time to go to the gym. I can’t find time to go out of my house because I feel guilty about either studying for the NMAT or reading up on the cases I’ll be handling next week. More than half my co-interns have suffered a nervous breakdown. Two of them on the first day of patient care. I almost lost it in front of a patient because everything we seemed to do ends up causing him pain, to the point that I didn’t know what to do anymore. My clinical supervisor had to pull me into the next cubicle to talk me through what I could be doing. There are demanding patients, patients who test your patience (hehe), and patients who are just confusing to talk to.
Yet despite all of that, I am actually enjoying patient care. I’m learning new things everyday. I learned how to properly execute certain treatments and I feel like I am getting better at talking to the patients and finding the root cause of their complaint. It’s just that I need to work on my assessment procedures, but otherwise, I’M OKAY. Some of my patients are already showing improvements after one session! I hope I can say the same for all of my other patients the next time I see them. My reports have more things written on them, we end up doing more exercises in each session, and I’m getting faster at basic assessment! I hope I could improve more in the next weeks to come!