I must begin this post with a small disclaimer: I am not responsible for the level of awesome you will attain with the tips presented below.
Even though my medical school went paperless years ago, I am still regarded as an expert on this subject and can help you understand how to become the best Chart Jockey your medical school has seen...ever! If you think I am exaggerating, check my bio, and everything will begin to make sense.
“What is a Chart Jockey?” you ask. Well, imagine a group of race hoses thundering down a freshly groomed race track, with piles of mud flying in every direction as they pass. At the front of the group, one horse and rider have broken free from the pack. This jockey is the one jockey who will rise to the top and distinguish himself from the rest.
Now think of a group of bumbling medical students walking onto a hospital ward during rounds. They too are all headed toward the same goal, focused on one single purpose, grabbing the chart! However, only one will succeed; only one will become the person who can hand it to the attending physician, at just the right time. And in so doing, only one will pull ahead of the pack. That is the essence of chart jockeying. Some have said, that becoming a great Chart Jockey is one of the best things you can do as a medical student.
Here are five top chart jockey tips. Follow them and you will definatilly be on your way to the top!
1: Practice the art of speed walking without looking like you are about to crap your pants.
The idea is to be fast but don’t look fast. By doing this you, will get a jump on your team as they enter a new ward on rounds.
2: When you walk on the ward, it’s important to keep your head on a swivel.
Take a quick survey of the room, noting the “areas of chart concentration.” This step is important if you want to get the jump on the competition.
3: Never trust a nurse!
If you see a nurse drinking a cup of coffee, using a chart as a coster, I can guarantee it is the one you need.
4: Hiding a classmates chart never hurt anybody.
Going by the ward early and slipping the chart of a classmate’s patient into some inconspicuous location is always a great tactic. Under the crash cart or behind a trash can are my places of choice.
5: Be seen, and heard.
Make sure the right people observe your greatness. Remember, seeing how hard you work is almost as important as them hearing you talk about how hard you work!
I hope this really helps some of you elevate yourself beyond your classmates. Always remember, it’s not always about making yourself look good. Sometimes all it takes is for you to make your classmates look bad.