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Emergency Room Only Night Shift pros/cons

Discussion in 'Emergency Medicine' started by muslimforever, Jul 28, 2015.

  1. muslimforever

    2+ Year Member

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    I'm an incoming medical student. I like multitasking efficiently, working hard, and applying my knowledge on novel problems. I like the concept of Emergency Medicine but I don't like the idea of having an irregular sleep schedule. How feasible is it to work only nights (how does it effect the rest of ones life)? Also if there are physicians who work only nights are there any averse health consequences?
     
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  3. Angry Birds

    Angry Birds Angry Troll
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    During residency, there will be no way to avoid the erratic schedule of EM. In fact, I will say that we probably have THE most erratic schedule of all the specialties, which is the significant trade-off we get for working fewer hours than others.

    (I should note that when I was in my final year of residency, I would swap shifts with other residents, taking their nights in exchange for the God-awful evening shifts.... However, this was done under the table and could only be done to a limited extent, since you are supposed to get training in all the various shifts.)

    AFTER residency, you could theoretically do all nights, and I do know some doc's who do this. There are definitely health consequences to this, especially as you age. Also, it's not great for family life. I know some people make it work, because they sleep while their kids go to school... But really I am a fan of the elusive 9-5 schedule now.

    The more I get older, I realize that the 9-5 schedule is the most healthy schedule to have. Unfortunately, it's tough to come by in our field.
     
  4. RustedFox

    RustedFox We're all stars now. In the GOAT RODEO.
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    Dude (or dudette),

    Listen: get thru medical school first. THEN sort out the pros/cons of a noctural EM career.

    I was one of those guys who would sign up for "all nights, forever!" when I was an MS-1, too.

    Efffff. Thaaaaat.
     
    DetectiveAlonzo likes this.
  5. The Buff OP

    The Buff OP -lll-------lll-
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    It's ED not ER. ;)
     
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  6. slystalone

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    It all depends on your personal situation. Some people prefer all nights if they're single - you can sometimes finagle yourself into getting less weekends that way. Some places offer night shift differentials to pay more for those who take nights (usually negligible though). Some prefer nights if they have kids since it's easier to spend time with family if you're there to see them off in the morning and pick them up in the afternoon.
     
  7. Angry Birds

    Angry Birds Angry Troll
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    Actually ER is much better than ED.

    A lot of the old timers insisted on ED for a variety of reasons, but those reasons are no longer relevant enough to compensate for the poor choice of "ED."

    I tell everyone that I'm an ER doc. They get that , they respect that.
     
  8. emergentmd

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    Doing all nights is easy, there is no shortage of shifts usually. Night differential is usually present but if you are RVU based it may not matter much b/c you see less patients in general.

    I know of 3 docs that did all nights for years. 2 ended up with going crazy. 1 is going strong and seem to like it.

    I have done all nights for a few months and I can tell you I would never do it again. If you have family, and even if kids are all in school, sleeping is difficult. I am an easy sleeper but when I come home exhausted, I can sleep at most 4-5 hrs. I then take a nap before my shift. This works out best for me but not getting 6-8 straight hours wears on you.

    Also, not sleeping with your spouse on a regular basis affects the closeness. My wife&I tend to spend quiet time when kids are alseep after 9p to just catch up, etc..... Thats a big deal in our relationship if I am working all night.
     
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  9. Birdstrike

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    I love these two quotes, back to back. So much truth, it doesn't even know it:


     
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  10. The Buff OP

    The Buff OP -lll-------lll-
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    Respect it. ;)

    For some reason in my area if you say ER they get offended (thinking you are saying ED waiting room).:p
     
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  11. Mad Jack

    Mad Jack Critically Caring
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    Same. People get all, "Do you see a single room? Are you standing in a room? Then why would you call it the emergency room? This is the damn emergency department!"
     
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  12. SoCuteMD

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    I tell people I'm an ER doc and half the time they hear "ear doctor"
     
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  13. The Buff OP

    The Buff OP -lll-------lll-
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    Cause ENT's are so cool! ;)

    Make a grown man cry. lol
     

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