Most floors aren't like this -- most floors some nurses change at 7am and some at 11am and some at 3pm and some at 7pm and some at midnight and it's hard to know which nurse has whom and if you can't find the nurse, there's a million places where s/he might be. It's harder to be a team.
Since it was so quiet, I was chatting a lot with the nurses, mostly about them and their lives, but also about being on call and what it's like. The fact of the matter is that I like my life with call a lot more than any of the alternatives. I like that for a total of 28 hours, I'm really the doctor for these babies (I have a fellow and an attending, but they're mostly only involved when I call them.)
And there's an asceticism to taking call that can be very rewarding in an odd way. Expelled through the hospital doors in the morning, sleep-deprived, blinking in the bright sunlight, having been in artificial lighting for the last 28 hours, shockingly warm after 28 hours of frigid air-conditioning, you feel reborn into the world. Little pleasures like breezes and being able to eat whenever you feel like it feel poignant.
It's my last call for a month, before I go to the emergency department. I'm a quarter done with calls for the entire year (an advantage of being in genetics) and at the end of the year have nearly five months with no call...I think I might miss it a little.
Three things I've learned
1. Congenital diaphragmatic hernias - are associated with pulmonary hypertension
2. The differential for congenital diaphragmatic hernia is eventration, where the diaphragm is weak, but not truly herniated
3. Hypokalemia can, in and of itself, cause an electrolyte-wasting tubulopathy