First call was not so bad, I was working with a 5th poster who is very fast. I ran to the lab for a thousand times, assisted in a transmetatarsal amputation (junior houseman goes to OT, senior houseman manages the ward), clerked new patients (was on active call). There were two of us housemen only, a very great learning opportunity because during normal working days there are almost 20 housemen for the ward.
But lucky we got help from a tagger, who is a fourth poster. It was great to get such help. Now I really appreciate taggers a lot. Our surgical department wants only 2 housemen to be on-call in the ward, not more. I don’t know if either they want us to learn a lot by pushing us beyond the limit or they’re just too stingy for on-call claims (unlike O&G and medical).
I managed to sleep for 1.5 hours only. I was cranky because of being woken up by a staff nurse just because a patient needs a line! Lucky I got coffee else I would be cranky till the morning rounds. The HOD and the whole bunch of alpha-male specialists came to the morning rounds and there were no issues at all (on-call is the perfect time to be screwed and with any bad issues, we could have been extended).
One great thing was I attended a 92-year old male, who recently got atrial fibrillation and critical limb ischemia of right lower limb. I told the HOD it might be embolism. He was sent for urgent embolectomy and it feels great that I didn’t miss that atrial fibrillation, else the patient would have stayed longer in the ward and nothing gets done. Imagine if I didn’t report that newly found a-fib, don’t you think the HOD will screw me hard?
It was OK because post-call I took my sweet time to do things after morning rounds with 20 housemen around. And of course some sleep while others were working 🙂
Yes, 20 housemen are too many for a ward of 33 beds. But not everyone must be in the ward, at least two must be in OT, some in clinic, some do ward works and procedures, others clerk new case if any and write discharge summaries, run to lab or radiology, refering to this and that departments.
I look forward to my next on-call 🙂