WHAT IF A DOCTOR SLEEPS THROUGH A PAGE? Doctor Call Shift Question + Answer


Hey guys. I’m Siobhan, a second-year medical resident. Over the past two years you guys have joined me on countless call shifts. You’ve seen me responding to emergencies. Code blue, level 1. I just got paged about a patient who’s got a heartrate of about 30. Seeing patients at crazy times at night. Oh man. I just got paged after 30 minutes. So it’s now 4:45 in the morning. So it’s now 3:38 in the morning. 4 a.m. now. 6:00 a.m. And soooo many pages. Just got a page from the emergency department. Alright. So today I’ll be answering some of the common questions that I get. Things like: What if I get multiple pages at the same time? Or what if I fall asleep and forget to answer a page? And I want to thank all the people who sent in questions here on YouTube and over on Instagram. It is such a cool way to get to know you guys and it reminds me of what an incredible community this is. People who are motivated, intelligent, curious and yeah… You guys are, you guys are the best! Alright, let’s dive right into the first question. Hey Siobhan, I’m at work. I’m a kindergarten teacher and I’m just enjoying my morning coffee. I’m just wondering: Do you ever get nervous when you get a page, anticipating what that call might be? Thanks, I love watching your videos. That’s a great question. The short answer is no. I don’t get scared anymore, because I’ve had so much practice. In medical school we actually carry the pager overnight on internal medicine, so you learn to get used to getting pages. So by the time I got to residency all the nervousness and excitement had sort of worn off, which is nice. At this point I mostly get nervous when it goes off at 4 in the morning right as I’m getting into bed, because I’m scared that it’s gonna be a consult in the emergency department, which always takes at least an hour and probably longer. Alright. Hey Siobhan, so I’m wondering: Out of all the pages that you get, do you ever forget to call back someone? Aha, that’s a good question. Ah… I will admit this has happened to me and I think this has probably happened to any doctor out there. Even with your best intentions, sometimes things fall through the cracks. And nursing understands, whoever is paging you understands that this can happen. So if you miss a page, they will likely just page you back realizing that it was not intentional. And in the worst case scenario that it’s an emergency and someone needs to reach someone right away, then they were just gonna call someone else. So a nurse might say: Okay, you called the medical student, they didn’t answer. Well, I’m calling the junior resident. Then I’m calling the senior resident, they’re not answering. Okay well, I’m calling the staff physician at home, waking them up. You will just keep calling someone until you hear back. So there’s a lot of redundancy for safety sake in the hospital. A similar question that I get a lot is: What happens if you sleep through a page? So I can’t imagine that happening, it is such a loud obnoxious sound. It’s right near you! And I think there’s something about when you’re in the hospital and you know you’re on call. Your body is sort of ready at all times, ready to be paged. It’s not like when you go to sleep at home, for me anyway. But I do have residents who are friends that are really worried about this and they say they are such a deep sleeper, that they will clip the pager to them, have it vibrate and then turn up the sound to as loud as possible. So I… I would jump out of my skin if I did that, but there are ways to make sure it doesn’t happen to you. Okay, so my question is: How do you remain energetic when on call? Because I know that internal medicine calls are rough. So how do you manage? Okay, that is a great question. You must really know kind of the hospital system and know what internal medicine is like. How do I stay energetic? So okay, I’m not energetic all the time and I’m not positive all the time on call. I don’t think that it’s possible, it is normal for it to fluctuate. It’s not like I get paged at 4:00 in the morning and I’m like ‘Yahoo, I’m so happy that I’m waking up at 4:00 in the morning!’ That would just be a little bit odd. So instead I kind of see myself like pac-man or something, like you’re going along and I’m gathering energy as I go. So when I get woken up, maybe my energy is low. Then I go down and I see a patient and that’s where I just gather a ton of energy. Because all of a sudden it doesn’t matter if my feet hurt, I’m hungry, I’m tired. Like none of that really matters, because when you start to connect with a patient, listen to their story, hear about their personal suffering and what brought them into the hospital. While I’m connecting with them as the person, I’m trying to think. That doctor side is coming out, I’m working to try to figure out what’s going on. I can’t be focusing on my low energy or the fact that it sucks that it’s 4:00 in the morning, because you’re there to help someone. So my energy starts to rise and I maybe leave the patient room and I see a nurse that I know and we chat for a bit and then I see a fellow resident and we kind of console each other that it’s the middle of the night and we’re both up. And then I’ll get some water or a snack and… And all of that kind of builds your energy. So you’ve got to figure out for you what builds energy and to know and expect that your energy is gonna fluctuate and that’s normal. That’s okay. Okay, next one. How do you unwind after a long shift on call and what do you do to maintain your mental health? This is an important topic that I haven’t talked about as much on this channel as as I want to going forward. Residency, medical school, it’s tough! People hit the wall, they feel burnt out. It’s a challenging journey. I have had those times where I just feel completely exhausted and you’re like, you’re up at night or sleeping during the day. There’s so much pressure, you’re supposed to be doing research or getting emails about more obligations. And then you go onto Facebook or Instagram and you see that your friends just seem to be like having all this fun, traveling around and I’m like: What am I doing with my life? Why am I working so hard? Those are the moments that I know that I’m starting to feel maxed out and I really have to listen to that and take care of myself. Sometimes that just means like having an afternoon with my friends and laughing and just fueling up myself. And other times that means that I need to really just kind of step back, play some violin, read, write, do something for me. I have gone on like yoga retreats for a week, which was so grounding. Or going back home, spending time with my parents, kind of eat all their food, be taken care of. All that stuff really helps. And what I found over time, I would say what keeps me from getting to that point where I’m feeling so exhausted, is often building in exercise and time with my friends regularly. I actually try to combine them, I usually like to go to the gym with one of my close friends and then we’ll go out and eat after and hangout. And so all of a sudden I don’t feel like my whole life is just medicine. I feel like there’s Siobhan who has always been there, who gets nurtured as well and that really helps me. But sometimes gym and good food is not enough and sometimes residents and med students really get into a place of crisis. And we’re seeing this all too often. So if you see a friend in a place where they’re kind of in a mental health place of crisis or if you find yourself in that place: I want you to know that you’re not alone and I want you to reach out to someone. Usually there is a program called a physician health program, there may be hospital programs or through the university. People want to help you and you just need to reach out and find the best resources. And I truly believe that asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but it’s a sign of knowing yourself and being strong enough to ask for help. So I just don’t want to see more tragedies in medicine, we’ve got to stick together. Hi Siobhan, this is Anila from the Netherlands. I was curious: How do you manage to have a proper diet during the 26 hours of your shifts? Thank you so much and have a great day. By the way I really like your videos. Yes, this is a challenge. Something I don’t always succeed at, but I would say the key thing to do is to be prepared. So in the hospital at the middle of the night, there’s always like snacks and goodies at the nursing stations and it’s really hard not to be tempted by that. So I would say bring snacks of your own. So I always like to have nuts in my bag. I’m always wanting something sweet around 3 or 4 in the morning, so I have fruit with me and then choose things that are like satisfying for you. So I would way rather eat a warm stir-fry than a cold salad. So that’s what I’ll pack for myself at night. So you guys asked so many amazing questions that I recorded way too many and this video became incredibly long. So we’re gonna cut it here and create a second follow-up video with lots more questions, so I can take the time to answer them. So your job is to click the notification bell so that you can actually watch that second video when it comes out. Did that plug work? Let me know in the comments below. Anyway, I’ll be chatting with you guys next week. Bye for now!

100 thoughts on “WHAT IF A DOCTOR SLEEPS THROUGH A PAGE? Doctor Call Shift Question + Answer

  1. What happens when you get multiple emergencyโ€™s from the emergency apartment and they are all really dangerous for the patient and I want to know this because I want to become a doctor so I can know what I need to do thirst

    And if you do reply to this comment thank you ๐Ÿ˜Š

  2. Geez, I hope none of my doctors watch, and certainly donโ€™t make, stupid ass videos like this at important times

  3. You seem really happy. Would you consider yourself a happy person all the time? I know itโ€™s a weird question but Iโ€™m suffering with situational depression.. Just wondering if you are truly happy? If yes what do you do that makes you happy!

  4. I'm so glad I found you!!! I'm sure I'll enjoy your videos as I already do alot.. keep up this is amazingly awesome!! I subbed and will enjoy watching you!!!๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™‚๏ธ

  5. People don't want to wake me up my brother went to fighting right now I don't want to I don't have my people interesting it will attack do I don't know people uneven eyes together I'm sorry tattoo

  6. to all the doctors in the comments:

    thanks for your hard work and dedication! it doesnโ€™t go unnoticed ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. I wanna be a doctor to and i feel i might fail my intern year cuz i never hear my alarm so i wont listen my page lol

  8. Love your videos! I love what you teach us! You have a wonderful, loving & caring personality. You come across as a really awesome doctor. Lucky patients who get to have you. Too many times over the years, I have had specialists who were awful to deal with & had a God complex. Luckily these past 5 years I have been blessed with a great GP whoโ€™s compassionate & caring. She believes me. I have an Internist whoโ€™s also awesome & works hard to figure out my challenges. I am so glad that I have found your videos!๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿคฉ๐Ÿ‘

  9. Not 1-1 comparable but Iโ€™m a Red Cross first aid volunteer. A few times a year I have sleep shifts during events. Meaning that so am at the first aid station with my colleague. We will be in bed sleeping and will be called by security if someone needs help, or they shuts show up at the first aid station. When someone calls the Dutch emergency number (112) the dispatch center will call us to.

    Iโ€™m a deep sleeper and the first few times I was so scared to miss a call from security or the 112 center during an emergency. But I have found out that even though I am a deep sleeper at home, during these sleep shifts I wake up at the smallest sounds. At home a bomb could explode right next to me and I wouldnโ€™t even hear it, during these shifts someone could cough outside and I would be sitting straight up in bed.

  10. Hi my name is Carrie I want to know if you ever get a patient with chronic illness that u have ignored?

  11. Our doctors have switched from pagers to just using cellphones, one doctor is known for sleeping through pages and weโ€™ve had to call the police a few times to check on him lmao.

  12. You're lovely! Everyone's suggesting a collab with Dr Mike, and I think you and Dr Hope would be delightful together, if either of you get a chance to fly to the other one ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. I definitely agree about the on call thing. I had to be on call for my job and you don't sleep soundly because you know something could happen.

  14. I wonder if I could sleep through a page call because I remember sleeping through quite a few earthquakes. Anywhere from Richter scale 2 to 6.

  15. Do doctors use google to diagnose someone or how do they know which disease someone has do they have a book with all the diseases

  16. I definitely understood when you questioned why youโ€™re working so hard and your friends are having fun. Iโ€™ve felt this way since I started college. But, my mind is in the right place and I know where I want to be and thatโ€™s in the hospital helping others and traveling one day. Youโ€™re great to look up to โค๏ธ

  17. I am from the netherlands too hallo Nederlanders ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ

  18. I would say eating when you are really busy is very fast with Nano or Soylent or similar products. It's literally 1/3rd of all the recommended micro and macro nutrients of the day in a bag that can be mixed with water and drink. My experience of using it for half a year for almost all meals is such that I can recommend it for short term, but not for more than couple of months at a time for almost all the meals, I would still use it in lower quantities if it wasn't something . Probably the official nutritional recommendations are not optimal or don't take everything into an account. It improved how I felt in the short term, but over long term was worse than my semi low carbohydrate diet, but nothing serious just not optimal. The downsides was mostly about that in the long term I became hungry faster than with lower carb diet.
    The best solution I had was with intermittent fasting (last calorie in before 18 first calorie between 6 and 12) in conjunction with relatively low carb diet. Simply just didn't become hungry as often, probably because of adaptation to better fat metabolism over long term.

    Just to add disclaimer.
    Not a doctor just a software engineer who shares his personal experience with methods that he has found useful for the same problem. And intermittent fasting is something that there is some evidence that it affects females differently.

  19. Freshly minted veterinarian former cellist here! Just stumbled upon your videos, and your energy and your videos are absolutely wonderful! You are such an inspiration.

  20. thank you so much for your vlogs and Q&As. As a high school student that wants to study medicine, your videos are an amazing eye opener and helpful guide as to what is to be expected from this profession

  21. Shooting for CRNA probably would get a pager or ''call'' so this is a step forward to be prepared and questions that are answered <3 thanks

  22. Watching this youtuber for the first time, and i must say shes like a ray of sunshine happiness! Haha, so cute! Im impressed she plays violin and works as a doctor. Subscribed on the first video ive seen!

  23. You are literally the most lovely person. Our disciplines are polar opposites as I study Law but I legit cannot stop watching your videos. How do you stay so happy? XD

  24. Fun fact; A lot of doctors will ignore pages, sad truth about the career. A lot of them will either sleep through it or have a resident take care of it….as they normally do anyways.

  25. Go with strawberries not the frozen goods department, and don't eat mix fruits together got to eat them separate and on different days like strawberries on day all day bananas another day. Strawberries gives me a boost of energy with antioxidants and I feel refreshed. When not on call or in a hurry ( on days off) Hot summer days wash them really good freeze them, when you go to eat them run them under cold water to unstuck them put them in a bowl of cold water, wait few minutes then ready to eat.

  26. Iโ€™m a 17 year old guy that is working on a career that has nothing to do with being a doctor or anything along those lines and play video games 24/7 and yet this still randomly pops into my recommended but yet Iโ€™m intrigued by this content

  27. I'm always on call for my job (not medical…I repair machines), and I have slept through calls, texts, emails, etc, even with loud, obnoxious alerts. Fortunately it's extremely rare, and lives don't depend on it, but yeah. It's definitely a thing.

  28. Yes, it worked. Thank you for your videos. Youโ€™re so hard working. You have inspired me. Although I am not a doctor I feel like your advice can be applied to anything. For example, building your own energy.

  29. I have seen you running throughout every video I watch. How do you not trip when you are running?

    And how do you stay calm when you tell a family that someone close to them has passed away. Does your voice ever get shaky when you explain the horrible news

  30. So far I donโ€™t know why she is not having that much reviews and subscribes , she is doing great job and great explanation for people, if u watching this channel donโ€™t forget the ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

  31. Love your videos hun!! I honestly didnโ€™t even notice how long the video was until you mentioned it at the end ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜…. Keep up your positivity โค๏ธ

  32. When the system will go out of its way to hurt you if you admit you have depression. Even if the psychiatrist and some of your consultants understand, your colleagues and direct superiors will not. A depressed intern/resident/houseman is a less functional one and everyone will give you snide and rude remarks. You can be deemed unfit to continue your training and be terminated if you ask for too many leaves due to depression. Understand that in my country, you only get 10 days off per year and that includes sick leave. This is on top of maximum 1 day off per week

    That's why most of us don't admit it although >30% of us are depressed based on a recent anonymous survey.

  33. Could you see yourself with a 37 year old ,overweight, retired Army aviator?….Iโ€™m asking for a friend…..

  34. The dark rappers the dark hoods the dark prayers the Dark Shadows boy you doctors and nurses are acoustic geniuses verbal acustic low sonogram those are some cool words

  35. Your videos are so oddly satisfying! I found your channel a few weeks ago and I'm in love. I've always been interested in the medical field, and finding your channel has me glued! I hope you do another q&a video here soon ๐Ÿ˜Œ

  36. What happens if they sleep through their pager for an emergency page? Whoeverโ€™s charge goes to the on call room and wakes them up ๐Ÿ˜‚ weโ€™re blessed in the ICU that the on call room is across the hall.

    For the record though weโ€™d only do it for an emergency, you guys need youโ€™re sleep!!

  37. My Dad is a doctor and it's just part of their life that they may have to get up and go when they're "on call" at a moment's notice. It could be like 3 in the morning, even, and I can only imagine sleeping through a page or otherwise missing one could actually cost you your job. But yeah keep that in mind if you wanna be a doctor, it's a rewarding job I imagine but it's not an easy one at all. Blood, sweat, and tears, on top of all the schooling required.

  38. Me: drunk trying find mental
    Hospital and night shift creepy
    Pasta.
    YouTube algorithm: want to want this absolute angel of a doctor describe her job.
    Me:yoooooooo letโ€™s get it

  39. Not the same, but I am in maintenance and go on call for a week at a time every few weeks. I keep a notepad nearby to take notes so I don't forget.

    However, I work two jobs so frequently sleep through and completely rely on my wife to kick me awake.

  40. its like when you.become a mom and youre sleeping & suddenly your baby screams in pain….or hunger…YOUR BODY GETS UP…

  41. I was just watching your "scariest moments" video from September 2017, you are wearing the same sweater in that video.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7tDWXeUtiM

  42. I love her energy shes a natural on camera shes very smart and beautiful this channel is awesome I haven't ever seen another channel that gives us sort of a way to get into the life of a doctor in such a good way shes awesome I love this channel

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