Saturday, September 13, 2008

Join me on my first on-call shift, and find out why I slept so little

For the future (and pre-clinical) medical students out there who are wondering what being "on call" is, I have just completed my first call shift. Therefore I am now a reliable source for information about what being on-call means. Here's how my night went:

5:00 pm ::: Start of on-call shift. On the phone with a friend in residency asking for some on-call tips. #1 tip: While on call, eat, sleep, and pee when you can. You don't know when your next chance will come.

5:21 pm ::: Fell asleep on the toilet while eating a granola bar.

5:36 pm ::: Woken up by a patient who claimed I was sleeping in his bathroom.

5:37 pm ::: Patient's claim corroborated by nurse, who is kind enough to explain to me what an "on call room" is, and where I could find it in the hospital.

5:41 pm ::: Changed out of my scrubs into pyjamas. Realized scrubs are more comfortable and changed back. Fell asleep.

6:12 pm ::: Woke up. The pager they gave me is making weird, loud beeping noises and has stopped showing the date and time. Now the display was just showing "911" and a few extra random numbers. Must be broken.

6:22 pm ::: Finally figured out how to make the pager stop malfunctioning and making such loud noises: take out the battery. Able to sleep again.

9:38 pm ::: Woke up abruptly. Some dude is banging on my door and shouting something about being "my resident" and how they have called me "100 times" in the last two hours. Must've had my phone on silent. Turned up the TV so I couldn't hear him, going back to sleep.

10:26 pm ::: That same dude got hospital security to unlock my door and wake me up. He is telling me to go to the sixth floor to "see a patient" with "delirium." Not sure what that means. Not sure what delirium is, either.

10:34 pm ::: Saw the patient - turns out the he is actually just a really nice guy who is a government agent, and he explained to me that he is being held against his will and that the nurses were trying to poison him. Helped him find his way out of the hospital so he could get back to being a secret agent.

11:17 pm ::: Back in the on-call room. Spent an hour propping all the furniture against the door so that my resident and the security guard couldn't come wake me up again.

12:19 am ::: Jumping on the bed.

2:54 am ::: Removed the pile of furniture from my door when I started getting hungry. Roaming the hospital looking for unconsumed foodstuffs on patient trays.

3:19 am ::: Found half a brownie and some cold soup on a patient's tray, and drank some apple juice that a patient thought they could hide from me by putting it in a pan under their bed. The apple juice wasn't very good, but it was free.

3:40 am ::: Running from the paediatric nurse who caught me drinking all the infant formula.

4:51 am ::: Back in the on-call room - can't sleep. Damn ambulances keep going by my window.

7:36 am ::: Woken up by security, who came in through the window this time, clever fellows. They told me to get out. Figure that means my call shift is over - going home to bed.

Turns out this call thing isn't so bad. It's basically watching TV, eating and sleeping. I think I could get used to doing this every fourth night.


Anonymous said...

That may be one of THE funniest things I have ever read. I have tears streaming down my face from laughing SO hard. Good Job.

Unknown said...

Really, really GREAT! I have to say, I am currently crying with laughing!

Anonymous said...

Haha, fantastic! Call sounds like fun, where do I sign up?

Dragonfly said...


devan said...

must have definitely had some stuff in that apple juice... or...was it ?

Michelle said...

That was hilarious!!!! I was crying!

Anonymous said...

You had me laughing out loud in the workroom at the hospital. Awesome!

CountyRat said...

Good job! You have a brilliant career in dermatology ahead of you!

anonymousRN said...

Hey.... were you the doctor on call for us last night...? Hee hee. You gotta watch out for that apple juice!

Braden said...

Hospital security can be so rude sometimes!

RevMedic said...

Never pass up the opportunity to eat, sleep or pee.
Those are my rules for EMS!

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