Breaking the mold…..

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One of the most difficult things for a doctor who has moved to a new hospital setting is gaining the trust of their colleagues and…..nurses. If you don’t have the nurses’s trust, things won’t run as smoothly as you may like them to run.

It took me awhile to do this. Nurses will watch you carefully. Especially those who have been around for a longer period of time and have gained a lot of knowledge.

When I moved to my new location, I knew that first and foremost, I had to be humble and yet strong in any decisions I made for my patients. That was not the time to be making mistakes.

You know you have ‘broken the mold’ ,when ,a nurse ask if you are working the shift with them tonight and then looks disappointed when you give a negative answer.

But whatever happens, don’t ever drop your guard. Like so many things in life, it may take a period of time to build the trust of the team, but only seconds to lose it.

I recall as a medical student in my fourth year doing a sub-internship in trauma surgery. One night, this guy came in unconscious. He had been beaten by a group of people using skateboards. It was difficult examining the patient because he was not responding appropriately. He had also lost most of the teeth in his mouth.

The chief surgical resident was well liked by everyone. He was there when the patient came in and fully assessed the patient. However, he believed that the patient had an abdominal injury which was more life-threatening than any of the other injuries.

A CT scan proved him wrong and that the main injury was to the patient’s brain which was being compressed by blood from a skull fracture.

Neurosurgery assessed to patient, and all was well. However, I noticed afterwards that for sometime, attendings started to show up whenever trauma victims came in and that chief resident was on call.

It took awhile for him to prove himself again to the team.

Trust is such a fickle thing to earn.

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