Being an intern covering the wards is tough. It takes some experience to learn to identify the crashing patient early, yet this responsibility is tasked to you, the most junior. Also, for some reason, after hours the ward has a tendency to turn into a hotbed of impending disasters. “The wards are out to get you”, as I recently heard a consultant say.
In fact, one could almost regard ward call medicine as its own specialty; the recognition of the deteriorating patient. Every specialty must devote itself to keeping up with the literature and applying scientific scepticism to its practice. Some ‘conventional wisdom’ that is taught to interns is out of date, but medicine can be slow to catch up. There is no resource out there that does this currently for interns.
This then represents the purpose of this blog; a foray into relevant scientific literature designed to enhance the intern’s practice and knowledge whilst covering the ward, with a focus on early detection of the crashing patient. A repository of supplemental information- a suppository.
Before you delve in, take time to read this disclaimer.