Monday, October 11, 2010

Post-call Nap

So far month four has probably been the most demanding on Mr. Dawkter. So far the days haven't been much longer but the days seem to be more intense. I'm guessing this is because this is a very busy and complex service, with a large patient load, and the service is somewhat understaffed with residents. The husband is trying to keep up with the pace, but it has definitely been a challenge. Although its important to note that I've found that the first week of every month to be the hardest part because he is adjusting to a new specialty, new schedule, new staff and a new way of doing things. It's kind of like starting a new job every month.

After Mr. D's first night of call, he came home and took a nap. I was busy in another part of the house doing work when all of a sudden I hear him yell:
"Holy crap*! Holy crap* Holy crap*!" (*insert explicative here).
This startled me (I am a very jumpy person) and I ran to see what was the matter.
"I don't know" he said, "I woke up and didn't know what day it was and freaked out."
I think he woke up and it was daylight (he wakes up long before the sunrises every morning) and freaked out thinking he was supposed to be at work.

Poor guy!

Although it was kinda funny too!


  1. Haha! J had this happen the other day but it was a real freak out because he had thought he was off the next day when he went to bed. He was but his residency has mandatory 7:30 conference EVERY Wednesday. He woke up around 10 and suddenly remembered this. Lets just say I've never seen him throw scrubs on and run out the door so quickly!

  2. My hubby often shouts things such as "who doesn't have their labs?" "where is my pager?" and "what time is it?" in his sleep! Never a dull moment with a sleep deprived resident around!

  3. Oh goodness - we have not experienced any sudden realizations/freak-outs yet but I'm sure with time...they will come ;)
    Poor Dr. D! Hopefully he can catch a mental break sometime soon! It amazes me how quick they have to be to adjust every month when they start something new - I think I would be pulling my hair out!

    ps- hope things have gotten better for YOU as well. Let me know if you need anything.

  4. i heard a very similar story from my mum when she used to work as a nurse. a resident came into work in the middle of the night and wondered why none of the patients charts were up to date. After a lot of confusion, ppl just told himt hat the reason nothing was recorded is because it hasn't happened yet! apparently he left, took a nap for a few hours, then woke up and the fact it was dark outside didn't phase him because he is used to driving to the hospital really early.

    I can't imagine being THAT tired.

  5. Ok -- for surgeon residents -- I have heard that many put one of those big post-it (I mean like the BIG ones I use in the classroom) on the far side of the room -- and on it -- they write the day and the month -- and "YOU ARE OFF CALL" written on it. So that way when the resident wakes up -- they have given themselves permission to sleep. I got this idea from the book Match Day -- where most of the book is actually about the intern year of surgery. I highly suggest you read!!! The author wrote about his wife and other friends going through tough intern years.

  6. Yikes! I can't imagine starting a new job every month. I would be on pins and needles all day. Sounds like he needed a nap and then freaked himself out. Poor guy!

  7. S does this ALL the time. Even in the middle of the night he will wake up and be like, "where am I? At the hospital? Am I on call?"
    Ohhhhhh the joys hey?! Glad he isn't alone in this!


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