Thursday, July 03, 2008

Primer Noctem

So last night was my first call as an intern. I survived, and it really wasn't that bad, thank god.

Things that happened overnight:

  • At one point, my upper-level gave me a pack of "brownie bites". I was walking down the hallway with the pack, and at some point I realized that it was not closed, like I thought it was. I was dropping little brown squares, like a trail of bread crumbs, from the ER back to the neuro callroom. And from a distance, they did not look like brownies. Heh.
  • Raise your hand if you've ever in your whole life been so constipated that at 3 am you feel the need to call out for help. Anyone who wasn't a post-op abdominal surgery patient? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Yes, I got that page at 3 am. The nurse had tried to use the PRN meds ordered, but the patient refused. He wanted some "lemon-tasting stuff" he'd had in the past. The nurse decided that equalled mag citrate and asked me to order it in the computer. I complied, and figured that he probably knew what he was in for, or at least hoped I wouldn't get called to clean up the mess.
  • I got paged in the ER while I was on the phone trying to call someone else. As I was trying to juggle the phone and check the pager, the pager slipped out of my hands and fell straight into a styrofoam cup of coffee on the counter. Ker-Splash! Coffee went everywhere, including my brand new white coat, the phone, and a nursing note. A nurse grabbed a towel and started mopping it all up while I was still trying to talk to the doctor on the phone. The call pager ended up smelling pleasantly of coffee for the rest of the night. Sadly, it continued to work.
  • After dropping the pager, I cursed (after I hung up the phone). The nurse next to me started to laugh, because my patient's wife was standing not too far away (I didn't know who she was) and SHE started to laugh. I apologized to her repeatedly for my unprofessional behavior--I make it a point not to cuss in front of patients, and I was more than a little embarrassed. She thought it was hilarious.
  • It is possible to have close to 5 hours' sleep on call (or at least, that's how long I was in the call room) and still feel exhausted in the morning. I'm not complaining about getting sleep on call--the girl on the night before didn't even get to go FIND the call room--but there's something less than refreshing about sleeping in your dirty scrubs with 4 different alarms set (I'm notorious for sleeping in) and getting paged all night.
  • I ran into a fellow psych intern who was taking psych call. She had been having a slow evening, but was praying the suicide pager wouldn't go off. I'd forgotten that in 6 months, I'll have to carry that same pager, and I'll absolutely pray it never goes off. Or that whomever it goes off for is not ACTUALLY committing suicide, but just needs someone to talk to. *shudder*
  • I discovered that there is a wireless internet connection (or is it Bluetooth?) between my pager and my ass. As in, the moment my ass connected with a toilet seat, the pager went off.
  • Finally, I'm only one call into the month (5 more to go) and I'm convinced that pagers are the spawn of the devil. They are truly instruments of pure evil and must be destroyed.
I'm on call again Saturday, because we swapped some stuff on the schedule. It makes the next few days suck, but my last call will be nearly 2 weeks before the end of the rotation. Thank goodness I'm off for the Fourth! Have a happy holiday!

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