Saturday, March 04, 2017

First Visitor

We found out last Monday who will be in what groups in Unit Three, and who the supervisors will be. My supervisor will be Anita, the same as in Unit Two. She was a co-supervisor of my group in Unit One, so I know her well and am happy she will be my supervisor, though either of the other two would have been fine, as well.

As for the group, alas, I have been separated from all four of the people I’ve been with since the program began in September. I particularly wanted to continue to be with Tony, but he is in another group. Also in my group is one of the young chaplains from the other campus, a woman from my own campus, my friend Sam and the new guy—the intern who is coming to take the place of our colleague who had to leave due to health issues. As the week wore on, I got more used to this idea and realized I’m looking forward to reading and learning from the verbatims of four new people. Also, Sam has an excellent sense of humor, which will be fun.

I went to the ICU on Monday to see the woman from the soup kitchen again. She smiled and seemed pleased to see me. She didn’t remember I had visited her on Friday. She said three times during our short chat, “You’re my first visitor.” I told her that I’d noticed in her chart that they had made contact with her father and brother—had they come to see her? She said no, then yes, then, “You’re my first visitor.” I told her if she can think of anyone from the soup kitchen she would want to come visit, I will let that person know where she is. Presumably this would not be a HIPAA violation, since it would be at the patient’s request. I assume that being homeless goes hand in hand with not having a robust network that quickly learns you’re in the hospital.

I am still hoping to get one of the palliative care slots. They had said that the five people who got the highest test scores would be interviewed. It sounds like only five people took the test, so I was thinking all of us would be interviewed, and that it didn’t matter that, from the sound of it, I may have gotten the highest score. Others have said they didn’t have as much time to study as they hoped, or that they didn’t read all the articles, or that they found the test challenging.

However, Jodie, one of our supervisors, told me she thinks a high score actually would be helpful, since it demonstrates mastery of the material, and then I found out that one of my colleagues had been told that his score was not high enough for him to continue in the process. Ouch. Also, they didn’t say anything about having to get a certain score. But, given that, and given that one of the people who took the test is going to move to the children’s hospital, my chances look increasingly good.

But if that doesn’t happen, I will continue in orthopedics and do my best to throw my heart and soul into that. I talked to a woman this past week who described a horrible experience she had while in the hospital: she woke up while intubated. I asked if I could sit down, and she ended up telling me an astonishing story about her ex-husband. Everyone in the hospital has something on her mind and a story to tell, whether she has had joint surgery or is dying of cancer.
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