Monday, June 12, 2006

The joys of call


DSC01427
Originally uploaded by Ian__.

Imagine four pagers clipped to the waist of your pants. Then imagine each one going off twenty times, with questions ranging from the annoying ("Mr. Johnson just pooped on the floor and fell in it, what should we do?") to the frightening (Ms. Fahnestock just had a thirty beat run of v-tach and now she's unresponsive, what should we do?). Now imagine toting these pagers and putting out fires for thirty hours in a row, without sleeping or eating anything of substance besides graham crackers stolen from the 'patient food' pantry. Next envision yourself falling asleep standing up, three times, in the middle of x-ray rounds -- I'm talking full-blown catalepsy-style fits, with loss of postural control and everything, catching yourself just a split second before hitting the floor and/or having your head plummet square between your attending surgeon's shoulderblades. After that think of scrambling around on rounds for two hours, dreaming only of how unimaginably wonderful it would be to have the privilege of attending to certain basic biologic functions such as urinating.

Well, that's just a taste.

5 Comments:

At 4:47 PM, Blogger phoenix said...

I could not do what you do at all... specially the poop part, but, I have done those kinds of hours, doing of all things, throwing newspapers. Bless you for all that you do for your patients everyday.

Good deal on the word verification :)

 
At 1:54 PM, Blogger Ian said...

Hi Phoenix,

Yeah, I try to stay away from feces as much as possible. I couldn't even fathom doing general surgery, with all the butts and guts that entails.

The hours aren't really all that bad. It's the spiritual torture of basically being in unrelenting bootcamp for years that makes the whole thing hard to swallow.

But on the bright side, as you point out, my blog now has word verification for comments and won't be spammed with advertisements for cut-rate Viagra or Cialis. Unfortunately that also means my readership has dropped to three, but so it goes.

 
At 1:22 PM, Blogger NickAntosca said...

Sounds madcap.

 
At 3:56 PM, Blogger L said...

that's a mad number of pagers! At my old DBA job I only had 3 at the most at one time

 
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