“On Call” Is Not Like It Sounds

More often than not (or at least it seems), I am “on call” for the weekend.

I have been advised by friends to change my terminology when talking to them from “on call” to “working.”

Apparently, “on call” sounds like I’m sitting around with a pager.

When you’re an OB/GYN resident, that is usually far from the case.

Yesterday’s 24 hour call proved to be the greatest HIIT workout ever.

The day was a constant trickle of this, that, and the other. Managing labor. Antepartum concern from pre-term labor. Consult here or there. Some post partum issues. A delivery.

And, then the obstetrics Gods wanted to throw my team a new one around 2 am.

Around 2 am, three sections needed to happen. We can only do one at a time as we need to keep one room open for a “stat.” We were trying really hard to deliver one vaginally, to no avail.

So, between 2 and 7 we did three back to back to back C-sections. Naturally, during the first the ER calls with a “rule out ectopic.”

Let me explain to you the whole “rule out ectopic” situation, for those of you who don’t see these on the regular.

To keep it brief, let’s just say there’s a whole issue between pregnancy tests being able to detect the “hormone of pregnancy” (beta-hCG) and an ultrasound being able to see said pregnancy. So, there exists the whole entity of “pregnancy of unknown location,” meaning we know you are pregnant but we can’t see it. Mysterious, right? I’m surprised Mary Higgins Clark hasn’t picked up on this for a mystery novel, yet.

Anyways, so the ER calls with one of the consults that “they think has rebound and some free fluid in the pelvis,” which, to me, means this cannot wait until even though I have two patients in labor I need to watch closely. Her BhCG is also a level at which you should see a pregnancy in the uterus, which the ER doesn’t (the usually never do, however, when its a very early pregnancy) so I need to bring her up so I can examine and scan her. And somewhere in there a multip (i.e. this ain’t her first rodeo having a baby) rolls up in active labor. And someone had to round on all the patients, too. Thankfully, there is always a midwife there, too! She so kindly helped us.

We divided up the work. The other two residents did the 3 sections and delivery stuff (which is a MOUNTAIN of work) while I ran from one place to the next with delivery boots on (just in case), a scrub hat (so I could run into OR to give updates), and a heart rate above a 100.

I slept very, very well today.


Yes, that is a pelvis in the background. Casual pelvis.

Anyways, the nicest part of the whole night (besides the fact that everything turned out well) was how well the whole team worked to keep the ship from sinking, to go back to that whole sailor analogy. When the tide turns, everyone in our residency really rises to the occasion. I’m lucky to work with people like that.

What is that saying? “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit?” – Harry S. Truman.

Guys from the 1940s knew stuff, ya’ll.

Anyways, on another completely unrelated note, I’d like to talk about bar soap.

To me, the sterility of bar soap in a soap dish is questionable. Is not that puddle of water that the bar of soap sits in a nidus from bacteria, viruses, and infection? Or maybe the suds from the soap keeps it away.

I guess no one died, yet, from using bar soap. However, I am very grateful to the inventor of liquid soap.

Although I do kind of like some bar soaps. The suds forming the micelles really gets the skin clean, don’t you think?

Truth be told….my favorite soap? DR. BRONNER’S!!!

Ok, I will stop talking about soap.

That’s all for now.

Night night.

Until next time…

24 hr coffee tally: I think 4 but I can’t remember


4 thoughts on ““On Call” Is Not Like It Sounds

  1. Bar soaps scares the crap out of me. HOW CAN IT BE SELF CLEANING?! It really is on my list of random, seemingly normal things that terrify me. I am so glad to not be the only one with questions about soap.

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