Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Two hours

Well, last night was my first overnight shift since resuming work.

Whoo. Dude, I'm tired.

But as usual, it is taking me about two hours to wind down. The two hour wind down used to kind of piss me off - 'cause damn I'd be tired and WHY COULDN'T I SLEEP and why was my mind still running at 8 million RPM and oh geeze was that last kid going to do okay... But recently I started talking to the other ER docs - both those that specialized in pedi EM (aka the 'sub-boards'- remember the term kids 'cause I ain't gonna bother explaining that for much longer!) and other generalists, like me - and most of them need two hours after a shift to cool off. I figure if docs who've working in the ER for 20+ years still need wind down time, I should just get used to my own need to sit and process for a while.

I liked the shift, until 2am rolled around and I lost the company of other attendings. Yeah, yeah, yeah I got help in 'moving the meat' in the form of a fellow (who ruled!) and then a resident, but especially with the resident, it just wasn't the same. I lost that sense of, well, fellowship present between equals slogging through the trenches of the late night ER. The resident just wanted the shift to be over and the nurses all wanted something from me. When there are other attendings there, we throw around ideas and treatment options and personality management strategies and joke... but with nurses, I'm one of 'them' and therefore am not included in the banter. With the residents, well, they pretty much have to do what I tell them to do, which seriously cuts down on the room for small talk. So I kinda got lonely from 2am to 8am.

And six hours is a long time to slog along on my own. Unfortunately, I have a LOT of overnights next month. Then again, I can't much complain because for Pete's sake, at least I'm working! So maybe I'll be able to make the night nurses my buds, and life will get better.

Yup, that's the plan, Stan!

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