To be or remain in a specified place or situation, typically one perceived as tedious or unpleasant

-also defined as the theme of family medicine inpatient (FMI). Well, at least this week.

Patients are "stuck" at the hospital while waiting for placement into a skilled nursing facility or rehab center. They are not longer acutely ill and there is nothing that we are doing for them each day, other than a courtesory exam and progress note. But still they cannot go home and insurance or lack thereof dictates placement, or lack thereof, so they stay in the hospital. Day after day. But what is a good learning experience on day 1 or 2 or even 5 becomes a bit tedious on day 12, 18 or 23. When nothing changes and all labs are normal and meds adjusted. Everyone is bored. Even the nurses pleadingly ask, "when can Mrs. Smith go?"

Patients are "stuck" at the hospital because they need a consult from a service that is MIA or because they need cardiac stress testing but it is the end of the month and the pharmacy is out of persantine or it is the weekend and they must wait until Monday for pathology to give an official reading or for some  non-weekend working dept to sign off.

I am "stuck" in the hospital because my rotation mandates that I am there 12 or 13 hours each day and while these hours make sense for my resident who is covering all the patients and overseeing all the admissions they hardly make sense for me when there are four other medical students on the team and I only get every 5th admission. Especially when we have finished rounding and I have seen all my patients, the same patients that are also stuck at the hospital, and there is absolutely nothing to do while I wait for the hours to pass. So far I've successfully snuck into the OR, slept, hung out in the ER, offered to go to Starbucks for the team, and a dozen other non-FM type things.  I think I may give my patient a manicure tomorrow (because she is stuck, she asked me to, and because that way at least I'll be productive, though knowing my luck there is some hospital regulation again this.)

Yay to being half way done with FMI, almost.

*Oh, and yes I realize I could and should study (and I do) but FM is considered an elective and so there is no shelf exam or test.  Plus the rotation is Pass/Fail and right now Step 2 seems far away....  But if you have any other suggestions for passing time in the hospital, please share!

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