Anatomy of a 48-hour Call

Day 1

0700: Ok. Cool, there’s not too much going on. I’ll do my postpartum rounds, finish my coffee and maybe get back to bed for a little bit

0804: “An ambulance just arrived and she says she has to push, can you come quick please?”

0954: Page from answering service: “Can I take a hot bath while pregnant? How hot is too hot?”

0955: Page from answering service: “I’m having a miscarriage and I don’t know what to do.”

1147: “This baby is having a hard time with labor and we’re concerned that if we wait longer the baby might get into serious trouble. We think it’s best if we proceed with a cesarean birth now.”

1312: Alright, well, maybe I’ll take my book outside and read for a little bit and eat lunch. There’s only two folks in labor now and they’re remote from delivery

1320: “She went from 4 cm to 8-9 pretty fast, are you close by?”

1430: Ok, now lunch, for real this time.

1433: Page from answering service: “Can I get my pap on Monday if I have my period?”

1556: Alright, things have calmed a little bit. A nap is in order. Who knows what’s coming in later.

1630: Why do I always have such a hard time sleeping here? Maybe should I have closed that tear with one more interrupted stitch? It was hemostatic. It totally was. But maybe I could have…….zzzzzzzzz

1748: “Can the mom in 206 have some tums? She’s got some pretty bad heartburn.”

1810: Ahhhhh my favorite call treat, conveyor belt sushi. I should have time to pop away from the hospital for a few minutes. Huh. It’s nice out today. Is this the first time I’ve seen sunlight today? Oh god, don’t think about it like that.

1826: Page from answering service: “I’m having cramping, but not like deep cramping? Like tightening. And back pain. Is my baby ok?”

2003: “We have a patient’s of Dr. Rose’s in. She thinks her water is broken. She left a puddle in the wheelchair, so I’ll save the amniotic fluid test. Can you come admit her?”

2155: Ok, everyone’s admitted. Perfect. All my charting is done. I need some down time. Maybe I’ll indulge in some Grey’s Anatomy for a bit.

2236: OMG. STOP. STAAAAAHHHHP. You are doing a crash c-section and somehow this show never has an OB on staff, and you use a VERTICAL INCISION? Oh, and that baby you just pulled out is definitely a 3-month old. Not a preemie. God, why do I watch this show?

2311: “We have a present for you! One of your patients is in active labor! Come say hi and admit her!”

0302: You’re almost there! One more contraction and we’ll have a baby. I know it hurts. Don’t back away from it. So close, so close!

0306: Happy birthday, sweet girl!

0334: Bed. Where is my bed.

0615: “Can you just come out? Lisa has a triage patient and Molly wants to talk to you about a patient of Dr. S’s that just came up.”

Day 2:

0703: Ok, Dr M gets to sign out. Don’t look like you’re jealous or anything. Oh crap. I forgot to brush my teeth before coming to report. Well, at least you have clean scrubs on? And at least you’re on with Dr. L today. He’ll help you if you need it. Look alive, look alive!

1002: Are you serious? Literally all the rooms are full. How is this possible? Is it a full moon already? And the cafeteria just closed, so you either have to wait until 11 to get coffee or go to the provider’s lounge and get the see-through coffee that comes out of their “coffee machine” down there. Yeah. I’ll wait.

1049: Oh I feel bad I was a little curt with that nurse. I hope she knows that I’m just uncaffeinated.

1101: Sweet, sweet coffee, my dear friend.

1113: “We need you in Birthing Room 3. Now. Just put gloves on.” Is this coffee too hot to chug? Kind of. Oh well.

1245: Nothing looks good in the cafeteria. Do I have time to run out and grab something?

1247: Page from answering service: “I think I’m in labor”

1252: There aren’t any open rooms right now, but I just invited someone in for a labor check. She really sounds like she’s in labor, guys.

1450: I know these contractions hurt, but they’re just not changing your cervix, at least not yet. At home take a hot bath, try to relax, and you can always come back if they get stronger and closer together.

1520: Why do they always show doctors on Grey’s Anatomy pushing meds, placing catheters, and starting IVs? I could write a whole article on the erasure of nurses in modern media. Yeah. In all my spare time.

1650: I think my body is pretty sure it’s never going to get more than 2 hours of sleep at once ever again and it just reset itself. I feel great! Only 14 hours to go!

1823: Welcome into the world, baby! Great job mamma! You’re so strong. Woah, I really do feel great. Nothing like a smooth birth to keep you energized heading into the night.

1947: Oh no. I’m crashing. It’s happening. Ok. Just go lay down for a bit. Just 11 hours to go. You can do this. You have to do this. You literally have no choice but to do this. Has anyone ever died from being on call for so long?

1949: Page from answering service: “I think I have a yeast infection. What can I take for it?”

1954: I think I’m having homicidal fantasies about killing my phone? I need a nap. I’m just going to lay down for a little bit. Oh no. It’s ringing again. I think I need to change my ringtone periodically so that I don’t have nightmares about that specific sound.

2104: Hooray, a normal, healthy multip admitted in active labor! That’s always a great way to end a shift. And maybe I’ll get a nap before she gets too active

0200: Yes, you can check her cervix. I know I said I’d be back to check but….getting out of bed is too hard right this second. Call me back if it isn’t changed.

0402: “We’re ready for you for delivery!”

0446: Man, those are the births I live for. Happy baby, happy mamma!

0516: Well, change of shift is in less than two hours. Should I just stay up? Maybe I’ll try the coffee in the provider’s lounge again. Maybe I caught the machine on a bad day.

0520: Nope. It’s really as bad as I remember. How is it even possible to have coffee that bad? Never mind. I don’t want the answer to that.

0538: I’m just going to put my feet up in the nurse’s lounge for a minute. Just for a little….zzzzzz

0649: “Go home, it’s been a long weekend, I’ll report out to the oncoming doc.”


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1 Response to Anatomy of a 48-hour Call

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