Sunday 30 April, 2006

Things you may forget on your first day

Posted in Advice, Michael Tam, Wards at 12:17 by Michael Tam

Original article by: Michael Tam :: Printer friendly

Mr Forgetful

Did you forget something?

The first day as an intern is always stressful. With any luck, your hospital would have given you a mostly reasonable orientation so you should be only somewhat lost as opposed to hopelessly lost.

Inevitably, the orientation program will focus on aspects that you don’t really care about such as harping on OH&S issues and fire safety. I have been shown how to use a fire extinguisher on at least 4 or 5 different occasions now!

The things you do need to get sorted out on your first day that you may forget are mostly administrative matters that will either impede your productivity on subsequent days or be just generally annoying. For instance, attending to someone having a post-operative bleed on your second day as an intern is a poor time to discover that you don’t know which pathology tube and form are required for an urgent cross-match.

Get the things that need to be done on the first day completed on the first day. This little bit of preparation will make your first week easier.


  • Get your ID badge
  • Get your locker key
  • Get your pager
  • Get the key/code for the RMO room
  • Get login and passwords for computer based clinical information
  • Work out how to get pathology and radiology results
  • Work out how to get patient lists
  • Work out how to order tests
  • Work out how to use the paging system
  • Get the pager numbers of your team members
  • Get essential hospital numbers (e.g., switch, medical administration, your ward, radiology, pathology)
  • Check when your timesheets are due
  • Get all your “essential” equipment – e.g., are you sure that your pen works

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