What did I get myself into? It is 6pm and I just got home from my first night of overnight call at the hospital. Yesterday was the first day of this rotation -- inpatient wards, which will be the bulk of my internal medicine training -- which means I was on call my first day. I guess I spoke too soon earlier when I said they hit you fast and they hit you hard.
Starting off the horrible day/night continuum was the fact that I took over the five patients the previous intern had. Taking on patients that you do not know is always difficult, especially medicine patients who have many problems to manage. Then throughout the night I picked up four new patients, each of whom takes awhile to admit because of admission H&P’s (history and physical exams) and admission orders. On top of this was the difficult task of cross-covering every other teams’ patients, which means getting paged randomly throughout the night by nurses about patient X’s tachycardia or patient Y’s diarrhea or patient Z’s itchiness. Itchiness? Come on, just scratch it yourself! When your team is being slammed with patients, prescribing Immodium is hard to take seriously.
On top of all that, add the grueling struggle of trying to keep my eyes open since it had been months since I was last on call -- last November, precisely, in medical school.
And then, post-call, dead tired, and zombie-like, I had to churn out notes for all my patients, none of whom I knew too well. It took me quite late into the day ... so much for the ACMGE mandated 30-hour limitation.
Again, what did I get myself into?