This is just a post-work whine-y post, there's not much funny/interesting in there. You have been warned.

Just finished my first 30-hour call in quite a while. I admitted 6 patients, discharged 3, saw a couple in clinic, several on the floor, and was up all night yesterday. Came home at 2 in the afternoon and slept for a couple of hours.

 I like working at night. It is usually more relaxed and you are on your own. The night shift staff tends to be nicer. The tendency is to get the work done and get the patients comfortable; a lot of the day-time hum-drum is avoided. Last night, the patients came at steady intervals, and I spent far more time with each than I should have [90 minutes just talking]. It helped that I had a highly indecisive attending on call with me, which basically meant I could do whatever I wanted, but he would spend thirty minutes on the phone going over the pros and cons of everything [I know the pros and cons, dammit, just tell me what Your expert opinion is. The guy has commitment issues, I tell you.]

There was no time at all to vox yesterday, though I could see the comment alerts in my email, tempting me..

This place depresses me at times. Last year, I was in a different institution, and while the patients were the same, the faculty members were a class apart. We had much less time to study, but had great on-the-spot teaching. Most days I'd come home feeling I had learnt something. Not so here. The attending I'm working with now is working hard to make me hate him. He is passive-aggressive, likes to pit residents against each other, treats every patient the same way, even Talks to every patient the same way! The rest of us sit there and provide each other silent support. Others already hate him, but I'm trying not to sour a relationship thats bound to go on for a while. Humor helps, and I sometimes distract myself by doodling. Once, I ended up drawing a caricature of him, and had to quickly crush the tissue I was doodling on before anyone could see.

Argh..we moved here so hubby and I could be together. Ah, well, you have to lose something to gain something. And there's always self-study..

No-work weekend ahead. Now I must go back to sleep.

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About purplesque

Psychiatrist, cook, bookworm, photographer. Not necessarily in that order.
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11 Responses to Post-call

  1. Emjay says:

    I read your posts and you know what always amazes me? That you do these horrendous hours under trying (and tiring) conditions and then you still cook (and post) all those fabulous dishes!! I must be missing some vitamins in my life!!

  2. Purplesque says:

    Nuuh..the cooking is what I do to relax and take my mind off the work stuff. It works. And posting things here and trading comments with my neighbors is what I do for fun.Can you tell I don't really have a life? 🙂

  3. Aubrey says:

    I can't resist comment alerts. At all.
    Now, I was wondering the same thing as Emjay. As well as: who does all those dishes?

  4. Purplesque says:

    Now that, my friend, is the million dollar question.We both do the dishes. Some days, A has to do them alone coz I'm busy voxing! There have been days when we are both so tired that we leave stuff in the sink for the next morning..bad, I know, but who cares.

  5. i feel like you're my post-call sister. 🙂 i completely understand how you feel. ie, the atmosphere of working nights. during my medicine year i did a month of night float, and i have truly happy memories of that time in my life. it is a strangely peaceful time no matter how busy things are going on.i can't say the same anymore for anesthesia… day and night feel the same without any windows in the OR and the same pressures regardless of the hour.i also understand about noticing differences btwn institutions and feeling sad about it. my medicine year was in a different institution not too far from here yet it was a completely different atmosphere. i shouldn't have been surprised since, going in, i knew that that place was famous for having nice people and my current place is famous for being malignant. but it still makes me sad to compare the two, which i still do.hang in there! how many more calls do you have to do this month?

  6. Purplesque says:

    I can only imagine how rough anesthesia would be..we've already bought A compression stockings to help with the leg pain he gets from running around/operating all day! Wish they had de-compression stockings for the head..Yes, I miss my old place. Especially knowing they'd take me back in a hurts. Still, its a comfort to know other people face similar comparisons.I only have three more calls..all Thursdays! So I get the long weekends off..not complaining! 🙂

  7. Karen Lynn says:

    "There have been days when we are both so tired that we leave stuff in the sink for the next morning..bad, I know, but who cares."I agree. TOTALLY :)) There is always tomorrow.

  8. nice… 3 day weekends are awesome!so A is a surgeon??? what kind? is he still in residency?

  9. Purplesque says:

    Yes..he's a resident as well. He's interested in vascular, but afraid that we'll never get to see each other if he becomes a vascular surgeon! So we'll see..Tell me anesthesiologists and surgeons get along? I have a colleague who transferred from Anesthesia to Psych because she couldn't take the pressure..she hates surgeons! I'm curious..I would have imagined they'd be thick, working together for long hours..

  10. how many hours a week is A working? do you guys get to see each other much? i have mixed feelings about surgeons. i am nice to them but find that i just keep getting burned. most of them think they're better than anesthesia people, so right from the start our relationship is doomed. the crux of the matter is that they try to tell us what to do, even though they don't understand what we do and sometimes their requests are physiologically/medically absurd or impossible. that's very frustrating. the pressure your friend felt is very real: the anesthesia resident in the room literally stands alone, often inexperienced, against a surgical team consisting of students, residents, and an attending. the surgery resident has no fear because they have attending there for moral support. the anesthesia resident does not have an attending present in the room except briefly at the start and end of the case. one of my attendings told me "the only good surgeon is a dead surgeon." your husband excluded of course. (don't worry, i get the lawyer insults all the time– B is a lawyer.)how is A's surgical personality?

  11. Purplesque says:

    Lol..I'm a psych resident; I get surgery insults ALL the time, until they find out my husband's a surgeon, and then I get veiled surgery insults. :DA is the unlikeliest surgeon ever. He's always calm, doesn't know how to yell, make snarky comments, or be mean in general. Unfortunately, that makes him stand out somewhat, but he compensates by being a good surgeon (I hope). He's doing 100-120 hours..we see each other for about 3 hours every day on a good day. He takes it harder than I do, I guess the guilt factor..and it will get worse before it gets better. Ah, well.

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