top 5 pages never to send

November 14, 2011

not my favorite weekend
the problem with my job is that sometimes it really is pretty easy. there are plenty of weekends where i have been on call but don’t actually have to go in at all! i answer a few pages and spend time doing household chores and hanging out. it’s really not so bad.

this weekend was a true work weekend: STILL nowhere near a 30-hour call shift, but both days spend rounding for several hours in the hospital, plenty of new consults, and outside hospital calls galore.

y’all, i completely failed at my november goal. by midday yesterday, i actually started crying after the umpteenth page, and i’m not sure what i was more upset about: the work itself, or just that i was disappointed in myself for NOT remaining the happy/zen person i so badly would like to remain under those circumstances.

[i’m sure my surging hormones don’t help, either.]

i am going to keep working on this. i honestly think a major problem was missing my run saturday AM, and then having to delay it on sunday. because as soon as i arrived home after 4 slow-but-blissfully-page-free-miles, all seemed right with the world.

but can i vent just a little?

yeah, not even the slightest bit zen
seriously, there are a few types of pages that absolutely drive me up a wall. and i think i got some of each this weekend. for the benefit of anyone carrying a pager anywhere, i feel like i just have to lay things out a little. maybe a med student in her formative years is reading!!

top 5 pages that no one should ever send

“patient’s amylase and lipase are back.”
yeah, i got something VERY much like this yesterday, although at least it wasn’t in the middle of the night. what’s wrong with this page? two things:

a) if you are going to put energy into paging me about lab values, AT LEAST INCLUDE WHAT THEY WERE!!! it’s not like the text limit was only 20 characters or something. in fact, it’s 350 – that’s over 2 tweets!!

b) if you are going to send me a page like that, think about whether the information you are sending has any immediate relevance whatsoever. the fact that this patient’s pancreatic enzymes were essentially normal? not going to impact anything from our perspective at that moment, or pretty much ever [we weren’t ruling out pancreatitis; it was for another reason]. i guess the person paging might not have understood that, but that’s problematic in itself.

when 552 = the start of all pager numbers at the institution. therefore, this person has done the unthinkable: PAGED TO A PAGER. just . . . don’t.

consult on baby girl smith in room 1234. call if questions.
i find this kind of page just kind of . . . cowardly and lazy. seriously, if you are going to ask me to see a patient on sunday morning, at least have the courtesy to give me some information about what the clinical question is and what YOUR thoughts as the patient’s primary caregiver might be. maybe i am old fashioned, but i don’t think a consult should ever be communicated via just one text. it makes it so much easier for me to understand what kind of advice you want if we actually speak to one another.

question about mason’s ddavp, please call 555-4123
okay, this page itself is fine. but when i pick up the phone and invariably ask you about what mason’s urine output has been like, you should have an answer for me [DDAVP is a drug that mimics antidiuretic hormone that some of our patients lack, and is used to control sodium and water balance. it’s a lifesaver, but sometimes it can also be the bane of my existence]. basically, i’m just saying please do your homework. don’t just reflexively call and then have to flag the nurse down while i wait when the questions i am going to ask should be fairly obvious. especially at 2 am.

. . . followed by silence/ringing phone when i call back approximately 10 seconds after hearing the pager ring. please, please PLEASE don’t leave the phone to do something else, anticipating that it ‘might take a while’ to hear from me, and then say, “sorry! i didn’t expect you to call back so fast!” it’s just mean. again: especially at 2 am.

[all names and numbers are of course fake!!]

feel free to add to the list . . . or enlighten me about the equivalent in your non-medical career. usually i try NOT to make this blog a complain-fest, but i have to say it felt good to get that out there.

things that helped calm me down yesterday
★ an egg salad sandwich at parker and otis

★ josh doing the cleaning + grocery shopping for me [THANK YOU]

★ finally getting out to run [in a t-shirt! it was over 60 degrees] just before dark on sunday

★ looking at baby clothes online

★ restocking my pen supply



workout: 4.08 mi, 40:59, ave 10:01/mi. weekly rundown [this was week 19 of pregnancy]:

not bad, but no yoga this week! maybe that was part of the problem.

clean eating: cheesy butternut bake: this veg-heavy dish [butternut, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots] from the latest clean eating would have been great as a side dish, but i felt it lacked protein as dinner’s main event.

the flavors were mild but nice, and the sweet roasted pears on top were a good foil to the cheesy sauce. it was a great way to incorporate a lot of healthy vegetables. but satisfying . . . ehh not really. next time i’d use more eggs, or perhaps would just serve this next to a chicken breast or pork tenderloin.

No Comments

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.