I found this sign hanging outside the Nurse’s station and started laughing 🙂 🙂 🙂 but then I thought that it wasn’t entirely wrong. Doctors and nurses do have to do very long duties and they surely do ROAST the body and mind occasionally.
I remember my days as a surgical trainee, when we used to have 30 – 32 hour duties (emergency duties as they were known as). These duties are comparable to 30 hours in a battle field – battling fatigue, hunger & thirst. The only difference being that we used to battle to save lives.
Even the preparation for the duties was similar to preparing for a battle. In addition to an extra-heavy breakfast, food and refreshments used to be stuffed into my bag before leaving home (due to the nature of the duties, I rarely used to get a chance to enjoy these delicacies and most of them were devoured by my other friends :(). After the morning rounds in the ward, we used to enter the real battleground – the Surgical Emergency. This place was always swarming with patients, their relatives, nurses and doctors 24 hours a day – there was never a dull moment in this place (and trust me this place does not remind you of Scrubs or Grey’s anatomy). The day used to start with briefing the interns and junior resident’s, who used to be our wingmen during the entire duty. Before the start of the duty, all of us used to fill our white coats with syringes, needles, blades, IV lines, books, etc etc (quite similar to a soldier preparing for battle) and this ritual was repeated multiple times during the day (like re-loading one’s gun during battle).
Once the patients used to enter the ward, we used to get very little time to rest. Just to give you an idea, during one duty we used to treat a minimum of 100 -150 patients and carry out atleast 20-30 minor procedures and 5-10 major procedures. Lunch and dinner used to be at odd hours (sometimes only one meal a day) and usually on the go. We used to drink more tea/ coffee than water to keep ourselves charged up (although the adrenaline rush of being in the emergency also used to play its part).
We usually use to finish our duties by 3-4 PM next day and used to be extremely exhausted.
These duties fared better than any sleep medicine, as we used to fall asleep within minutes of hitting the bed. Although these duties were very exciting and played their part in moulding us into surgeons, sometimes they literally ROASTED our minds and bodies!!