In the Middle of the Night

Last night’s home call, as I alluded to last night, was sub-optimally home.

I had an admission coming from another hospital scheduled to arrive at 9, then 10.  I called the nursing floor around 11:45 after forcing myself (foolishly) to stay awake until I had to go back in to find out that the flight was, in fact, delayed and that they had found this out a half hour ago and didn’t think to tell me.

I decided to go to bed.  Try to get some sleep.

I just dozed off and the pager went off.  A question from the junior covering the floors on my admission from earlier in the evening. Easy enough.

Back to sleep.

Slept for an hour and the pager goes off again.

After the mild freak out that comes with begin awoken from a dead sleep, I call the number back, ever so slowly processing that the number I was calling was not the nursing unit, but the emergency department.

Cue low level frustration.

A stroke to be admitted.  Fair enough.

I grumble, drag myself out of bed, put clothes on and stagger out the door.  By the time I park and navigate my way to the hospital from the parking garage, I am awake  again.  I am really  awake by the time I cut through the waiting room of the emergency department and have someone get mad at me for clearly being a doctor and just strolling in at 1:30 in the morning.  In my head I argued back.  But really, I just ignored them and kept walking.

I saw this consult.  I wasn’t sold on it needing admission, so I held them overnight for tests.  They could have just waited until morning to be seen by neurology.  It would be the exact same outcome.  That made me a bit cranky.  But, it was still a perfectly reasonable call.  Just one that had I known the symptoms were resolving, I might have asked if they could hang on to the person and I would see them later, when I was in to see the admission (whenever that was going to be).

I finished my consult at around 3:30 in the morning.  I called the floor.  Still no word on my admission.

Cue internal rage.

I didn’t want to go all the way home, so I went to pick up a call room key and decided camping out in the hospital would be better.  And safer.

I started singing this song to myself and it made me feel better.

As life works, as soon as I signed out the call room key, my pager went off.  My person had finally appeared.

I got home at 5:45 this morning.

As much as I whine, I feel badly for the poor people who were up all night because of travel, sickness and me making them do crazy things like finger to nose testing at all hours in the morning. Plus, it is my job.

I found this comic from doccartoon.blogspot.com (check out her page) that kind of parallels what it is like getting called in at all hours in the morning.

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