Nocturnist schedules

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Hospitalist/Nocturnist Hologram
15+ Year Member
Aug 16, 2005
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Hey nocturnists! I'm wondering what schedule you're working. Is it working for you? Was there a different schedule that you have worked that worked better? I'm contemplating a change.

Currently I'm doing 7 on 7 off switching on Tuesday night (primarily because that matches up with the day shift day they switch). It's frustrating when I want to take a vacation having to switch with my counterpart who is a bit difficult to switch with. I'm contemplating switching on Sunday night. Any thoughts?

My background: FM trained in a program with heavy hospital training. I've been doing adult only nocturnist work since 2014 in a mid sized community hospital or a small regional hospitals (60-120 beds). Solo coverage 7p-7a, open ICU with minimal pulmonary backup (at least at night). 4-8 average admissions per night.

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I've been doing this since 2016.
I work in a large community hospital with 2-3 other nocturnists a night. I get to pretty much set whatever schedule I want each month, only rule is I've gotta work 2 weekends but other than that our bench is so deep I've never had a request denied. This has allowed me to travel abroad each month pre covid.
The sweet spot is 3-5 night stretches for me, and I think most other noctunists would agree. Past night 6 the quality of my work starts to suffer- I get easily irritated and my productivity goes down. I can't really imagine doing 7 on/off for 7 years straight, so kudos to you. An open ICU could also be stressful, but mostly being a solo nocturnist with the uncertainty of not knowing how the night is going to go while knowing it will all fall on your shoulders can be stressful. I did a similar side gig but with a closed ICU and quit after a year. It sucked. Hope they're paying you handsomely for it!

I can't really comment on which night you should switch. Does it really matter?
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