I was back in the ICU today after 1 week hiatus. It was not a vacation though, as I was in a conference and a refresher course the whole week. In fact, I even felt it to be more taxing, intellectually, as it was a very intense review course. All the lectures were crammed in a week, a knowledge you should have learned in 6 years of post-graduate training. It was a real information overload.
This morning I was back to work. The moment I stepped in the ICU, two “code blue” (hospital emergency for cardiopulmonary arrest) were called back to back. There was excitement, adrenaline rush (experienced by the medical staff), adrenaline push (given to the patients), action, and chaos, as efforts were made to aggresively resuscitate the patients. Sadly to say, we lost both them in spite of all the valiant efforts. What a way to start my day and the week ahead. Now, this is not just intellectually taxing, but physically and emotionally as well.
The sobering truth is that, all the training, all the skills, all the knowledge, all the refresher course (or courses) we got, was not enough to save those two lives today. Would I say all our training and what we’re doing are for nought? I certainly hope not. But I also realized that even with all the training and learning in the world, I will never be able to “save” or “add” life. That ability belongs to a higher authority. I am a mere instrument. And I am at peace with that.
I hope tomorrow is a better day than today.