It’s 1:30am and I’m 15+ hrs into my Saturday shift (now Sunday) that was supposed to end 3+ hrs ago. My brain has started to have that numb, tingly feeling that I imagine precedes fainting or a narcoleptic sleep attack. If I put my head down now it will not come back up for a while I know, so I press on. Why? Because it’s a Saturday night and the hospital couldn’t get one of the attendings to work because there is a motorcycling event in town this weekend that usually brings in its fair share of casualties. So admin in their infinite wisdom filled the shift with a physiatrist or rehab medicine doctor. This is his first shift to top it all off as well.
So I know I will be here for a while. The moonlighting doc is a nice man, very capable and talented in his field I am certain, but ER medicine is not rehab medicine. I don’t blame him, because he was probably told that it would be an easy night and that he might even catch an hour or two of sleep. The wonderful lies and pipe dreams that admin types like to tell to lure people out. So, because I don’t want this poor guy to get sued and because I love my night nursing staff too much than to leave them in this mess, I will keep dragging myself around the ER until sleep overtakes me or things stabilize out to a safe point.
But I find it interesting in such circumstances how my brain begins to feel. Almost like someone injected it with lidocaine if that has ever happened. Coffee won’t help, Red Bull would probably give me a stroke at this point and I’ve already had so much sugar that I feel like a kid with a stomach ache from eating so much Halloween candy. I think I need a good code to get my second wind.