Monday, January 19, 2015

3 Things That Made Last Weekend's Call A Whole Lot Better

Over the past couple of years, I've worked a fair number of call shifts...and I'm still learning how to make staying in the hospital for 26 hours more bearable. When I first started call as a third-year medical student, I'd pack along a duffel bag with pyjamas, a fleece blanket, toiletries, and lots and lots of food. I'd even shower on call (which, considering that I now rarely even bother to brush my teeth, puts into perspective how much my motivation to look sharp on call shifts has declined). Since then I've learned that changing into scrubs at the first opportunity is the secret to being happy on call. I've stopped treating call shifts like hospital camp outs and, apart from packing along extra food, approach them pretty much like any other work day.

This past weekend of Friday and Sunday call has gone better than usual -- thanks to three simple things that I should have been doing all along:
  1. shoes -- For the past two call shifts I've worn these $5 sneakers I picked up on Boxing Day. It makes such a difference to wear comfy socks and shoes that feel like bedroom slippers!
    ardene sneakers
  2. cookies -- I so look forward to getting a break during the night to eat a chocolate chip oatmeal cookie :)
    chocolate chip oatmeal cookies
  3. pager on vibrate -- I don't know why it took me until now to switch my pager to vibrate. It is so much nicer to wake up to a buzzing (yes, it still makes an audible sound so I haven't slept through it...yet) rather than heart-stopping smoke detector beeping.
    residency pager
...So gradually my call shifts have become more comfortable, but I'm sure that by the time I finally figure out how to optimize my call shifts and post-call days, I'll be done with in-house call altogether!

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