The Residents: “the phone call we received during my 2nd year…”

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The scariest moment of my residency career was the phone call we received during my second year to be deployed to the COVID-19 units in March of 2020.

I was placed on night shifts.

When I arrived, I was given a list of about 30 patients and was told to

“keep everyone stable till the morning shift”.

I was advised to call the senior resident if a patient was close to coding or the oxygen saturation level dropped below 85%.

As a podiatric surgery resident, I could have counted the number of times I had performed CPR on a human being/plastic model on one hand. However, all that changed during my first night shift.

We had approximately 15 codes throughout the first night.

Each code, each death, each tragic middle-of-the-night phone call to family members was a reminder of how fragile human life truly is.

I was scared of contracting the virus and spreading it to my family at home. We had such little information on its transmission and its effects.

It was also difficult to comfort patients while wearing :

2 masks,

a plastic shield,

multiple gowns and

multiple gloves.

The quiet, empty hallways of the hospital in the middle of the night felt eerie. It was hard to see patients struggling to breathe, searching our eyes for answers to their unfortunate condition. It was even more difficult to deny families permission to come see their loved ones in person.

This experience transformed my spiritual vision and made me more grateful for each breath that my body takes effortlessly. Although those months felt like a clip from a horror movie, I am grateful for the life lessons that were bestowed upon me.

Story by Dr. S.V.

All our authors names have been kept anonymous for this special edition. We hope you enjoy these great stories by podiatry residents.

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