Tag Archives: call

The Switch

I experienced my very first switch call this block.  And firsts always call for a blog post.

Ah, but what is switch call, the uninitiated may ask?  Switch call is almost as bad as in-house call (i.e. being stuck in hospital for 26 hours).  Switch call begins at home call (i.e. cozied up with a book and a blanket) and then you spend enough time at the hospital after midnight (i.e. cold and hungry in your rattiest hoodie and scrubs) for it to count as a “switch.”  Like in-house, switch call gives you the benefit of a post-call day, yay!

So yes.  The switch.

Here’s a rundown of how it goes.  (Times changed to protect the patients.)

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I’m finally post-call after my first 26-hour stint on obstetrics call.  It’s a weird sensation for sure, especially since I came back to my apartment and slept for a few hours.  Now, mid-afternoon, it feels like late morning and late evening at the same time.

That doesn’t really make sense.


This entire week has been a bit weird – for 3 months I’ve barely seen one or two of my classmates and have been immersed in family medicine almost exclusively.  Now I’m hanging with half a dozen of us on a daily basis, dealing with ornery pregnant ladies, lots of surgery, an awful lot of vaginas, and happy newborn babies.  I still can’t quite believe I’m actually working in hospital (mostly).

Anyway.  Back to the topic at hand.  For those who aren’t aware, being “on-call” as a medical student on obstetrics means you’re essentially seeing everyone labouring, needing assessment, or who might be labouring from 6:00am one morning until 8:00am the next.  And given that it’s obs, that generally means a sleepless night.

I wanted to give those who’ve never experienced call a sense of what goes through your mind as the day (and night) carries on…

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