shadowing a doctor on call for 48 hours

//ankle boots - options below //

// outfit details - post contains affiliate links //
Top, exact one, RP everydayshop
sparkly pants, similar
boots, old, similar here

This outfit has nothing to do with my call weekend. I did not wear sparkly pants to the hospital. Just sharing something pretty during a typical not-so-glamorous call weekend.

I love writing birth stories... I even wrote about my day with the kids.

So why not follow me during my 48 hour call at a busy, tertiary children's hospital?


so it starts.... I was still finishing notes from my full day in clinic, when I received my first page. It was a pediatrician asking for headache meds to start while patient is waiting to be seen in our office.

40 minutes later, I was still typing notes from the day
The epilepsy monitoring unit paged me  about a baby having seizures.

10 minutes later, first ER call of the night.
"hello, patient xyz is here. Sent from your office. Do you still want that test? Do you know about xyz?" - said the ER resident.

"I don't know about this patient coming in. but let me check..." I answered.

I read the most recent phone note to the resident.  {obviously, the ER resident could have read the note without paging me and have answered her/his own question without paging me.....}

20 minutes later, the epilepsy monitoring unit  paged again. It's the baby having seizures.  So back to calling the primary team to come up with a game plan. A game plan is important for the night, unless I want to stay awake getting paged and paged and paged if the seizures do not stop.

I should not complain here. I actually got to enjoy dinner with my eldest love and my new baby love (hubs and Lucas). I did not get called at all during dinner.

9:30p outside hospital consult

11p the EEG monitoring unit called. Granted, I did tell them that I want an update before I went to bed. They beat me to it and they called me instead.

11:15p another outside hospital consult. So much for going to bed right? nope.

ok, let's brush our teeth... get ready for bed.

40 minutes later, I am not in bed yet and another page at 11:55p.

By the time I was done with that call, it was past Midnight. I fed baby and I was trying to relax. I said my prayers and thanks... and yet I could not fall asleep.

12:35p  I was still not asleep. This was going to be fun.... I needed to get zzzzz's before I get paged again.

1:10a Heck. since I cannot sleep, might as well pay my bills. So I did that.

1:35a 2 new consults to be seen next day. I was not sleeping yet when these calls came.

2:10a consult 2 above had to page me again for an update.

2:12a  I received a transfer call from outside hospital
It was a quick 3 minute call. Not bad... I was optimistic I was going to bed.

2:32a I received an incomplete number call back.... I cover more than one hospitals when I am on call. I don't know if it's hospital 1 or 2 or 3 if I only receive the last 5 digits of the  10 digit phone number. So I ignored that page.  I figured if they needed me, they will page again anyway.

2:33a I received the page again.. I tried the number. "This number is not available." what??? Did they not teach this person whoever he/she is how to send a page??

20 minutes later at 2:52a, I received a message from operator with person's pager instead of call back. I called the number and left my call back. I left my pager number too on the same message. This I learned from my interns when I was a medical student. **Pro tip here for medical students out there:  you type your call back first, then star then type your pager then #.

For example:
111 -123 - 4567 STAR 111-890 -0000
call back number STAR pager number of person

If I confused you, comment below, I can walk you right through it.

Back to my call night ~

I did not get a call back... Either the person did not get my page or just ignored my number since it's not a hospital number or this person had no clue what to do with those numbers....

"ok I am going to bed now." I told myself.

3:09a Finally the correct 7 digits appeared on my pager. The person entered number-number-3 in the previous message instead of number-number-0.


I called the person back. Remember consult 2 above? The doctor on the line wanted to discuss his/her findings on our mutual patient. I just said ok... He/She did not even have a question for me.

At this point, I was just shaking my head in disbelief. I was paged several times incorrectly; which kept me up from 2:32a until 3:20a just to share findings I already knew.

That's one of my pet peeves. For trainees out there -- Please be mindful that though on-call, your attendings on homecall actually want to sleep. We don't have post-call days anymore. The following day is a *regular day. So if there are no questions and updates can be done during regular hours, please, please do not page.

stay tuned......

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1 comment:

  1. Anonymous2/09/2018

    Sounds like a technology/ ignorance issue. Why doesn’t their exist a system that allows you to receive a notification that there’s an update—-sounds like the folks paging did so for their own sanity. Of course I don’t know the on call protocol but thanks for sharing. I enjoyed reading ! -Adriana


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