Sunday, October 25, 2015

Nights

It's currently 2 am and I'm writing this post from the hospital. While at work.
Best thing about nights: sunsets in the res room

A big reason I haven't been updating as frequently of late is that I've been on a nocturnal schedule for so long. Ever since I started residency, almost half of my time working has been at night. The shifts vary, from 5 pm - 7 am or 11 pm to 7 am, but that still means that out of the past 12 weeks, I have spent 7 weeks living on the complete opposite schedule as the rest of the world.

My rotations have ranged from admitting (where you just admit patients from 8 pm to 7 am) to ED shifts at night to covering the ICU at night. Don't get me wrong, the work is not particularly hard. The pace is lighter on nights. Patients don't tend to come in unless they're really sick. Or in need of a bed for the night.

But no matter what the work is, I've come to dread nights the most. I'm lucky that I have no trouble sleeping during the day (in fact, one of my talents is being able to sleep anytime, anywhere) but I still feel shitty sleeping away the whole day while normal people go about their lives. While it's nice to have random weekdays off, I still have the prospect of working a full night looming ahead of me. And then I have to go into work at night when everyone else is coming home for dinner, watching TV, and relaxing.

Right now, I'm on "cross-cover," which means that all the internal medicine teams "sign-out" their patients to me at 5 pm, and I cover their patients from 5 pm to 7 am. Yes, this means I'm the only doctor taking care of these patient overnight (Don't worry, there is backup). But depending on the census of the different teams, I am the first call for up to 100 patients. Most of the time, it is just answering pages about their diet or prescribing cough medicine, but I usually have to take care of at least one real medical problem a night. One night, I had a heart attack, stroke, seizure, and sepsis all under my watch. Needless to say, I didn't sleep that night.

I'm counting down the number of nights I have left and then only one more night block this year in December. One good thing about being front loaded with nights is that I'll be on days until June, when my second year starts. One more block until I join the land of the living!

3 comments:

  1. Hey Yoyo!

    My name's Quinten and I'm the content manager at bayarea.com, a new website about eating, drinking and things to do around the Bay Area for millennials.

    Our aim is to have this site written by and for young people, to teach them about themselves and create a community that shares cool ideas, activities, bars, restaurants, apps etc. At the moment we're looking for contributors who write well and have expert knowledge about eating, drinking and playing in the Bay Area and/or have an interesting local story to tell.

    I've been searching for contributors ahead of our November launch and stumbled upon your blog. I like your voice and you have a story and lifestyle that I think our readers will like. Would you be interested in writing a piece for us on what your life is like here in the Bay Area as a medical intern?

    If you're interested, please contact me at qdol@bayarea.com.

    Hope to hear from you soon!
    Cheers,
    Quinten

    ReplyDelete
  2. Cool photo! Amusing that your ability to Yoyo out is helping with the work schedule haha.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Cool photo! Amusing that your ability to Yoyo out is helping with the work schedule haha.

    ReplyDelete