March 28 – May 1, 2016
5 weeks… 5 gruesome weeks of night shifts, being the only junior doctor covering nearly the entire hospital including: general medicine, general surgery, orthopaedics, cardiology, sub-acute geriatric evaluation, pallative care + oncology.
Let’s just say it was a lonesome time working mostly by yourself! Never another soul in the staff lounge when you do have a few minutes to relax.
There were many significant moments for me, including unexpected deterioration and deaths of patients, attending my first full-on resus (CPR, advanced life support – patient didn’t make it), managing many acutely unwell patients, etc!
One of the more fun moments – being approached by a nurse, “I don’t know what’s happening with this patient, but there’s all this blood on the floor after she’s gone to the toilet!”
My immediate reaction, “What?! What do you mean you don’t know?!” This was also right in the middle of reassessing a lady for a potential MET call. So the shift coordinatory (nurse in change) and I ran down to the other side of the ward to check on this other lady and was greeted by this wonderful sight:
Don’t worry guys, she was fine! She just had a huge infected intra-abdominal abscess that was awaiting surgery when it finally exploded! She was actually feeling well with some of the pressure relieved!
So many memories from my 5 weeks on night ward call – it was definitely busy and sometimes incredibly stressful. But my medicine has definitely improved and I was happy for the experience.
Not to mention, I lost weight working nights and looked my best (ever) for our wedding! 😉