“What Are You Doing Now?”

If you’ve ever worked on the Bellevue labor floor, you know the frequency of the phrase, “What are you doing now?”

I like to think of the Bellevue OB (“BOB”) as a ship that we, the team of 3 (a 1st, 3rd, and 4th year), keep driving forward.

On BOB, there are always 600 different checkboxes. For a delivery alone, there are at least 10. For one patient.


And, nightmare.

The “seniors” (3rd and 4th year) are sort of like the captain and skipper whereas the intern (1st year) is like…first mate? I don’t know, I gotta catch up on my sailor terminology.

Anyways, the first mate is, technically, supposed to do most of the “stuff,” depending on the volume, to learn and such.

So, your captain and skipper are always asking you, “What are you doing now.”

Often, they will then tell you “oh wait, but I wanted you to do this.”

And, 5 minutes later, another person will tell you “oh wait, actually just do this instead, not that.”

You stay perpetually confused, frustrated, and just wanting to check one damn box.

You can also feel that way when you’re a senior. Not as much. But, there is always so much to do that learning what should happen now versus later versus possibly simultaneously is the new trick for the old dog to learn.

I’m using a lot of metaphors tonight.

The way I used to circumvent the question of “what are you doing now” question was to theatrically announce frequently exactly what I was doing now, in 5 min, in 10 min, and thereafter. I learned this from Spencer. Thank you, Spencer.

For instance, “I am now going to use the bathroom. I’m then going to scan triage 20B. After that I’m going to go check room 2 and do her labor note. After that, I will come back and give you update. Aye aye, captain.”

Just kidding on the last part.

But, maybe we should adopt the whole sailor thing on BOB. Might spice it up a little bit.

I’m getting distracted.

Its easy to do that when you’re on OB.

There are so many checkboxes and things to do you can literally jump from one thing to the next in 0.2 seconds.

Like this blog.

Has this made any sense?

Anyways, the gist of BOB: sailors, checkboxes, “what are you doing now.”

Final note: one night at sign out, I made everyone in the room (nurses, anesthesia, peds, OB) say their favorite ice cream flavor as an introduction. All of the nurses said rum raisin. I have never had rum raisin. Maybe I should try it.

That’s all for now.

Night night

Until next time…

Daily coffee tally: 3 [thanks to midwife extraordinaire, Kelly]


One thought on ““What Are You Doing Now?”

  1. When precasting, I think I spend 75% of the day asking, “What are you doing now? What are you going to do next? Why? What else do we need to do?” It’s challenging to see into the mind of someone else and figure out what they’re thinking and planning. They probably hate me. But it’s important!

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