My Day in the Life as an Anesthesiology Resident
My typical day at Robert Packer Hospital begins at 4:30 AM when I wake up to the sound of my alarm. About half an hour later (unfortunately I am a heavy sleeper), I roll out of bed, shower, brew myself coffee, and roll out the door to drive to the hospital. Often, I stop by Dunkin’ Donuts on the way to pick up breakfast, time permitting.
I typically arrive at the hospital at 6:30 AM (or as early as 5:45 AM for more complex cases), and often find ample parking space in the designated residents’ parking lot. After changing into scrubs in the locker room, I log into my Vocera (a voice communication system used by the anesthesiologists and nursing staff), check the operating room board for any changes to my case assignment, and head into the anesthesia workroom for my drug labels and any equipment I may need for my first case. I then head to the operating room to do my machine check, draw up drugs for my case, and prepare my airway equipment and any vasoactive drips I may need for the case. Oftentimes on days with multiple quick-turnover cases I will have drug syringes and airway equipment for 2-3 cases prepared in advance. I then head over to the operating room prep area to see my first patient. Typically, I will arrive in the prep area around 7 AM.
After seeing my patient, going over their medical/anesthetic history, explaining the anesthetic plan and consenting them for any epidural catheters or peripheral nerve blocks, I place an IV and discuss any appropriate changes to the previously decided anesthetic plan with my attending. I then place any invasive lines, epidural catheters, or peripheral nerve blocks if needed. After checking with the patient’s prep nurse to make sure nothing has been missed, I typically arrive with the patient in the operating room by 8 AM.
After placing monitors on the patient, going through any areas of concern with the operating nursing staff and surgical team during the operating room “time out,” I induce the patient with my attending. After the airway is secured, the case is well underway, and I have documented appropriately in the anesthesia record in Epic, I begin preparing for the next case. Oftentimes the attending will use the time during the anesthetic maintenance phase to discuss any chosen topic for the day. Between 9-9:30 AM the attending will often let me out of the operating room for a quick breakfast/coffee break. Once the operation draws to a close, I emerge and extubate the patient, bring the patient to the recovery area where I hand-off the patient to the recovery nurse, and finish the anesthesia record for the patient. I then finish preparing my equipment and drugs for the next case (often the room will have been turned over by an anesthesia technician by now), and then go back to the prep area for the next patient. By this time, the attending will have seen the patient and explained the anesthetic plan, and the patient is just about ready to bring to the operating room for the next case. Around 11:30 AM – 12 PM I am typically relieved for a half-hour lunch break.
On Wednesdays, I am typically relieved by a CRNA at 12:-12:30 PM so that I can attend afternoon didactics. Otherwise, on days in which I finish my cases early, I check with the chief board runner that day to see if there are any additional cases I may be taking over for that day. Otherwise, a CRNA or a fellow resident will arrive to relieve me around 4:30 PM. I then sign out the patient, then check the board for my case assignment for the next day. After making sure all patients who had received anesthesia the previous day had been rounded on, I head over to the anesthesiology residents’ office (affectionately called “The Closet”), review the cases and prepare the pre-operative note for each patient the next day. I then drive home (I often like to let the cases “marinate” in my head during the drive), call the attending to discuss the anesthetic plans and decide on a topic to read on for the following day. I then eat dinner, shower, and then after doing some reading, plop into bed, ready to see what I have in store for the following day!
At Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital Anesthesiology, we are fully aware of the many stressors of residency training. We pay close attention to wellness and resilience in our residents. We aim to promote a healthy work-life balance. Our resident-centered Wellness Program includes the following components:
- Resident Meetings
All residents meet quarterly with our program ombudsman (Dr. Victor Kolade, Internal Medicine) for a business meeting, a forum to discuss issues and concerns to a faculty member not directly associated with our program. This meeting allows issues to be addressed in a timely matter and provides a venue for the residents to stay involved and active.
- Mentor Program
Our program strongly believes in the value of mentorship. Each resident is assigned a faculty mentor to guide them throughout their residency training. Residents meet with their mentors regularly to discuss their strengths, challenges, short term goals, long term planning and overall wellness.
- Employee Assistance Program
Guthrie provides a comprehensive Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for all residents. The EAP benefit is provided at no cost to the employee, and all components of the benefit are completely confidential.
We know that when you do make the decision to call, it can be stressful and you want to be able to speak to someone, regardless the time of day. Guthrie has partnered with CuraLinc, LLC., an industry leading employee assistance provider, to provide SupportLinc. This enhanced partnership allows for you to have to access the following services:
- SHORT-TERM COUNSELING: Up to six (6) in-person counseling sessions with a licensed clinician on site.
- FREE LEGAL SERVICES: Free telephonic or (30 minute) face-to-face consultation with local attorney.
- FREE FINANCIAL SERVICES: Free expert financial planning and consultation through a network of licensed financial counselors.
- EXPERT REFERRALS: Free referrals to resources that help address a wide range of issues such as child or elder care, adoption, pet care, home repair, education, travel and housing needs.
- WEB PORTAL: Access to thousands of articles, tip sheets and videos covering a wide array of health, wellbeing, and work-life balance topics. It also contains child and elder search engines, reference libraries, legal and financial resources, self-improvement programs and educational modules.
- eConnect® MOBILE APP: Schedule video, live chat or telephonic counseling.
- TEXTCOACH: Exchange text messages, voicenotes and resources with a licensed counselor through the Textcoach™ mobile and desktop app.
- ANIMO: A personalized digital resource that strengthens mental health and overall wellbeing through a dynamic series of self-directed modules.
- VIRTUAL SUPPORT CONNECT: Provides live moderated group support on a wide variety of topics via the desktop or mobile platform.
Social Events and Gatherings
In addition to orientation, an annual welcome party is held for the new incoming residents. This setting offers an opportunity for residents, and faculty to connect on a more personal level.
Many resident social events occur during the year. Our Wednesday Didactic program is built to include four afternoons a year where formal didactics are replaced with a wellness event. We also have various other events throughout the year organized by GME.
A quarterly Journal Club allows residents and faculty to meet outside of the hospital at a local venue to socialize while discussing assigned articles.
Program Leadership Open-Door Policy
In our program, an open-door policy is in place. Residents are encouraged to contact the Program Director. Associate Program Director, or Program Coordinator whenever they feel the need.