Obviously, I have the night off. Also just as obviously, I've not managed to flip days and nights successfully on my nights off. This would not be a problem, except that the DMV opens after my bedtime tomorrow morning, and I have to get my license renewed.
*** *** *** *** ***
So I'm looking up recipes for Seven-Layer Dip and pondering the breakfast I had this--well, yesterday, now--morning.
Fellow Intern Anna and I met up for breakfast at a place where, no kidding and no exaggeration, the pancakes are a foot across and an inch thick. An omelette with all the fixings (potatoes, biscuit that's the size of a half a loaf of bread, gravy) will run you twelve bucks, but it's three meals.
Anyway, as I was plowing through a quarter of one of my pancakes, she told me about a minor procedure she'd screwed up the night before. It's one of those things that they didn't cover in the internship. The screw-up was tiny, not harmful to the patient, but got the resident annoyed and made Anna feel like a dope.
Turns out it's covered in the CCU protocol.
"There's a protocol for that?" I said.
"There's a protocol for everything, apparently." she replied.
"Well, that's a good thing to know. Better late than never. Where are the protocols?"
I wish I'd been surprised. "You mean we have protocols somewhere in a three-ring binder, but nobody knows where it is?"
"Yep," she sighed. "And the CCU protocols are supposed to be online as well, but every time you click the link to the practice and protocol pages, it lands you on the page that asks for a password, then tells you that yours is invalid and kicks you back out. Nobody can access it."
"Uh-huh. *And* the only official protocols are the ones online, so even if we managed to find the binder where the old protocols are, we couldn't use those."
"Well," I said, "It's nice to know that there are standards of practice and ways of doing things, even if we're not allowed to see them. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside."
Anna stirred her coffee and stared into the middle distance for a minute. "I wonder if my mom kept that decoder ring I bought from the back of a comic book when I was eight. Maybe *that* would get us in."
*** *** *** *** ***
This is, of course, Texas. The idea that anything associated with state government could actually work well (or at all) is pretty foreign. I mean, you're working in a research institution, you're trying to access the rules set forth for your practice by that State-funded institution, but you're not allowed to. That's pretty much how it goes here.
When I called about renewing my driver's license, the state DMV people told me that I had to bring a money order or cashier's check for the fee. They don't take personal checks any more; it was too hard for them to track down hot-check writers. Not enough information in their database, they said.