week in the life

week in the life 2017 | sunday words and photos

The event that occurred Sunday is something we have been preparing for at work for the last year and a half, and more intensely in the last two months: a site visit from two surgeons from the American College of Surgeons to evaluate our trauma program. If you’ve ever been involved with one of these or even heard about it, you know how stressful and nerve wracking it can be. It was unusual to have the review on a Sunday, but the lead reviewer asked if we minded and of course we said we didn’t mind at all!


6:29 | I have been watching “Frasier” on a laptop in my bathroom for years. I’ve seen them all probably ten times or more; when I get to the end of the show I just start over. Even though I can recite some lines by heart, they still make me laugh. This is the episode  where Frasier convinces his dad to run for condo board president but Frasier would actually make all the presidential decisions.


7:11 | Even though the first reviewer isn’t scheduled to come until 10:00, the whole trauma team arrived early to do last minute checks and to start setting everything up in the conference room we’ll be using. Here I’m going through a binder full of all kinds of things, from CVs of our surgeons, to transfer policies, to clinical practice guidelines.


7:56 | To prepare for the review, The College gives us a dozen categories and wants at least ten cases per category where we have done performance improvement stuff.


8:17 | The best way to treat trauma is to prevent it from ever happening. As such, trauma centers are required to look at the types of trauma they see at their facility and tailor injury prevention activities around those mechanisms. These posters illustrate all the activities we have done in the last year and those that are ongoing.


8:18 | More binders. That poster in the background are two cervical spine CT scans that we used as part of an education program about cervical spine immobilization.


9:36 | I spend the extra time we had going through some of the cases to remind myself of everything that went on and what we did. I’ve already looked through all of these at least twice, but one more time can’t hurt.


9:49 | This is the “site visit survival kit” someone brought with them: ibuprofen, snacks, comfy shoes, and her insulin kit.


11:14 | Our reviewer arrives promptly at 10:00 and I sit with him, going through the cases and helping him find things in our medical record. I spend the rest of the day here, until 18:00.


17:36 | The other reviewer arrived after the first one, so one of the trauma staff sat next to him to help him find things in the medical record. Against the far wall, you can see food warmers set up. We’ll be having a working dinner in here with the trauma staff, several other physicians, and members of the hospital executive team.

Something I did not photograph: At 18:00, we had a working dinner in the same room. There were about 15 people there and the reviewers took turns asking questions about various things about the hospital and the overall support for the trauma program.


20:33 | You better believe the first thing I did when I got home was pour a glass of wine. I was tired, but just couldn’t unwind. I had mixed feelings about how the day went. There were some good things and a few more bad things than I had anticipated. Tomorrow is the second half of the site visit; a tour of the facility, a chance for them to find out more things, then they meet, then an exit interview where they tell us their preliminary findings.


21:31 | Tracy had cut these from our yard earlier in the day. So happy the red ones aren’t covered in aphids!

I went to bed after this. We’re starting at 6:00 tomorrow morning, so I need to get up early. My brain would just not shut off, so I had to take a melatonin to get to sleep.

I really enjoyed this year’s Week in the Life. It was a busy week full of work, even to the last day, which I do frequently. I love the perspective it has given me on my own life, which brings me greater joy in it. Next up in assembling the album, which I won’t be doing for 2-3 weeks at least. We have some travel coming up for work and fun and I don’t want to start it and not be able to work on it for a while. How was your week? Are you happy with what you were able to capture?

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