Friday, March 09, 2007

night float


I don't think I've ever been so exhausted.

I am a person who craves sunlight.

Not only are the days shorter but I've been working nights for the last month. Sort of.

Our program, in it's infinite wisdom, designed our night float system to flirt with the boundaries of sanity and safety.

It all starts on Sunday, when you work a 24h shift through Monday morning at 7am. On Monday afternoon, you come back by 5pm and work overnight until 9am on Tuesday. Tuesday night you have off. Wednesday from noon to 5pm is continuity clinic, because God knows the earth would stop spinning if I missed a clinic. Another overnight shift from 5pm on Wednesday through Thursday morning at 7am. Back for another overnight from 5pm until 9am on Friday. Blessedly, Saturday you have free. To sleep. Then it starts all over again on Sunday.

To add to the torture, you have to do rounds with the attending on Tuesday and Friday mornings after you sign out the ward. This consists of going over patients you saw in the ED, parent calls that you had and any management decisions on the inpatient ward. The reason for this charade of a session is quite simple...it's required by the RRC (Residency Review Committee) in order to justify a night float rotation and somehow make it seem like there's actual learning taking place. Who's kidding who? You can barely think by the end of a shift, let alone rehash what happened overnight.

My circadian rhythms are severely out of whack. I have been the most cranky I've ever been. The guy I had been dating decided that now was the time to call it quits. Like I have the energy to care.

Here's to adolescent medicine. Bring on the healthy college students who want to get out of class or exams or practice because they have the sniffles. I'll take that any month over night float.

Here's to Daylight Savings, which starts Sunday. More sunlight is good.

5 comments:

Just Suzanne said...

Well honey! Those hours sound utterly crazy and, yes, maybe a little bit dangerous. I can only imagine that you must need supreme motivation in order to endure, bless your heart! How much longer till you get to have more normal hours?

Suzanne, working on progress in Nashville ;)

girl MD said...

more normal hours have arrived. still, all i want to do is sleep.

Blog, MD said...

I remember night float [shudder].

Hang in there.

Moof said...

I don't know how they expect you to (1) do right by the patients or (2) retain any meaningful information when - they put you under that sort of stress.

I honestly don't think it's necessary. *comfort*

I hope this passes quickly for you!

daedalus2u said...

I sit in front of a 500 Watt quartz halogen lamp every morning while I eat breakfast. I (anecdotally) feel that it helps to maintain my biorhythms.

But I don't do things like stay up for 24 hours in a row.

I am not sure how you would have to time it to get the phase right. I think it does help me get back to normal when I travel.