Published in the January 2013 issue of Today’s Hospitalist
One of the almost inescapable downsides of life as a hospitalist is the fact that someone has to cover nights.
While physicians in other specialties have to take night call, they can manage many issues from home via phone. If they’re really lucky, patient volume will be light and they won’t even have to step foot in the hospital on the nights they’re on call.
Most hospitalists, however, aren’t so lucky. Working nights for them means spending the night at the hospital, and that typically means disrupted schedules, time away from home, a lot of missed sleep and a poor diet.
But as 24/7 coverage has grown, a generation of hospitalists has come along that has learned how to tackle many of the downsides of working nights. In our cover story, we talk to several nocturnists about the strategies they use to work nights without ruining their life.
According to these nocturnists, the secret to working nights is to introduce a little discipline when it comes to eating, sleeping and exercising. It’s true that working nights makes doing all of those things more difficult, but these physicians have learned how to find time to make sure that their bodies and souls don’t suffer because of the schedules they choose to work. Several, in fact, say they’re in better shape now that they’re working nights.
Their success is encouraging to hear, particularly at this time of year when so many of us are vowing to do better in those areas. I encourage you to read their success stories and see how you can incorporate their strategies into your own practice.
And from all of us at Today’s Hospitalist, here’s to a happy and successful New Year!
Editor & Publisher