Hi everyone! I officially started working as a physician assistant in the emergency department in March of this year. There were so many emotions during this time. I remember feeling extremely anxious starting my first big girl job but mainly nervous because I was going to be in the emergency department. I couldn’t even imagine getting comfortable in a new environment during a pandemic because there were so many changes and new protocols being instilled every other week. I went into this new job expecting to be stressed, anxious, burnt out with constant feelings of doubts and here I am, still experiencing all those feelings and more. However, I definitely feel a bit more comfortable than I did 8 months ago. Needless to say, I am not sure when I’ll fully be and feel confident in the emergency department. There is such a huge learning curve which I’m sure every new grad PA understands when they start their first job. I’m learning something new every day at work and I still need to constantly study when I’m back at home. It’s true when they say that the learning never ends.
I cried a few times during my first few weeks of training. I remember feeling incredibly inadequate, unknowledgeable, lost, and hopeless. I honestly felt like a fraud dressed up in a white coat treating patients. I would often compare myself to my colleagues who have years of experience and feel like it would be an eternity till I will fully feel comfortable and competent. I often receive great insights from experienced doctors/APPs who tell me that they still don’t feel comfortable even after 20+ years of working in the ED. There are always going to be feelings of doubts and cases where we do not know what the patient’s exact diagnosis is. I used to feel so much anxiety before a shift because I never know what to expect walking into the ED. Nowadays, I still get nervous but I think I’ve learned to cope with the emotions in a better manner. At the end of the day, my main goal is to offer the best care I can provide for my patients. I’ve dealt with a handful of difficult and rude patients but have quickly learned to let go of any resentments that brew from the interactions. It’s such a stressful job but I get relief knowing that I have support around me. I’m so so thankful for the scribes I get to work with because they make a world of difference during my shifts. It’s still mind-boggling to me knowing that I now work as a PA in the ER I used to work at as a scribe. It’s interesting being in the opposite role because I can now fully understand the stress that the providers felt when I worked aside them as a scribe hahah!
All in all, there is so much I could say about starting this new chapter in my life, all the good and the bad. I might save interesting topics for future posts or videos 🙂 I wouldn’t say that I am 100% satisfied with where I am in life right now but I am very grateful to have a job in this current pandemic. I am thankful that I get to work with awesome and caring providers who have been so helpful during times of confusion and roadblocks. Lastly, I am so grateful for my loved ones who supported me through all my emotional and mental breakdowns :’) Y’all are the real MVPS ❤