* * Anonymous Doc

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Just got home after my first night of Night Float, the rotation I'll be on for the next two weeks. I get in at 7PM, accept the sign-outs from the day teams, and stay until 8AM. Having just done the 28-hour overnight shifts in the cardiac care unit, I figured 13 hours would be a breeze. Nothing much happened in the CCU at night-- would it really be any different on the regular patient floors? Maybe I'd even get some sleep.


Two deaths, three codes, and a missing pair of dentures.

Got a phone call at 2AM from the nurse's station, about this woman I'd checked in on a few hours earlier. She wasn't doing great, but she didn't seem hours away from the end-- "she has no pulse," the nurse said. "Call a rapid response!" I yelled. Why is she calling me, two floors down, and two months out of medical school? What am I supposed to do when it's going to take me two full minutes to get there anyway?

So she called a rapid response, and I got there as quickly as I could run up the stairs-- but she was long gone. Not sure if she just her heart just stopped while she was sleeping, or what the deal was-- I'll find out tonight, I'm sure.

An hour later, I get a call that a guy fell out of bed. I race up there and they were in the middle of CPR-- the nurse neglected to say he fell out of bed and wasn't breathing, but luckily she called a code while I was on my way. Dead too.

One other code-- successful. And 25 minutes spent in one guy's room searching under his bed, in the closet, in the bathroom, and (successfully-- finally) in his laundry bag for his dentures. Just in time to eat his oatmeal-- yeah, you need teeth for that?-- for breakfast.

Now, since my body is completely confused about whether it's day or night, I'll try to get some sleep and do this all again tonight.... I'll warn you again-- people die in hospitals-- stay away if you can.

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