On Call 24/7

Probably the most dreaded thing about residency is taking call in the hospital, whatever the rotation. Call is when you have to spend the night at the hospital to cover the patients when the rest of the team goes home. Someone needs to be around to admit new patients and respond to patient needs and emergencies overnight. Sometimes you just cover patients on your own team. Most of the time though, you are covering other team’s patients that you have never met before.

I still remember my very first night on call as an intern. I was covering all the patients from the three different surgical services at Harbor. I was already peeing in my pants, but some time into the night, I discovered that my pager (yes we still use those) was turning off by itself if I didn’t press the on button periodically.

That added a little more stress, but it was fine as long as I kept it on by pressing the button. But then I fell asleep when things were slow and woke up several hours later in a sheer panic because my pager had turned off.  I can’t even describe the fear that came over me thinking I may have missed some crazy emergency. I actually went to every single floor where there were patients to ask if anyone had paged me.

I probably over-reacted since there was a trauma team in place over night that would respond to any emergencies (they know better to trust real emergencies to new interns). I was just the intern so my job was to babysit. But what did I know. Thankfully everything turned out fine and I survived my first call, and every subsequent call.

Praise God that we have a God who is always available to us. He never forgets his pager, and his pager never runs out of batteries. In Christ, we have a direct line to our creator God, and He invites us to come to Him. Not just in emergencies, but in the everydays of life. Thank God that He knows what He’s doing too.

When was the last time you talked with God?

In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. Ephesians 3:12

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