22 June 2010

Long call

Intern year is infamous for the amount and frequency of long call (overnight) that must be done. While on internal medicine during third year, I have had to work the same schedule as the interns; thus also q4 long call (overnight every 4th night). It's busy, it's tiring, it's frustrating, but it's also when you bond the most with your team and with your patients.

This photo is an example of the night float bonding with an M4 over a shared love of high level mathematics. I was busy bonding with one of my interns over bento boxes and having grown up out west. Later that night I went to visit a patient and his wife, who declared they would be my surrogate grandparents since my family is so far away.

Long call is also exciting as an M3 because it's when you get to do the most. You can get a complete history for your busy intern and then write up the admission paperwork for them. You can follow up on orders to make sure tests and labs are done and interpreted, call consults and be the contact point for the nurses so that you are in the loop on the evolving treatment plans. On cardiology you carry the code pager so when anyone in the hospital goes into cardiac or respiratory arrest you have to drop what you're doing and respond. First person on scene starts chest compressions and let me tell you, a real chest feels nothing like those dummies you learn on.

I really like long call - I like being in the middle of it all. But I can see how 8 months of it would get tiring. Still, 6.5 weeks into 12 weeks of this I'm mostly just pumped. I'm finally in the hospital. Finally working with patients. The last two years I've been impatient to become an M3. Now that I'm finally there, I'm even more impatient to be an intern.

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