Junior doctor survival kit
A safe on call: preparing for your first on call
What you should find out before you start your first on call
- By: Steven Alderson, Naomi Abbt
Most medical students are familiar with the “day job” of being a junior doctor, which includes organising ward rounds, booking tests, and writing discharge summaries. However, fewer students are aware of the other side of the job and the realities of working on call.
Every evening, overnight, and at weekends, in hospitals across the country, junior doctors are receiving calls for help; reviewing patients; and recognising, managing, and escalating patients who are deteriorating. Out of hours, hospitals tend to have fewer staff, fewer senior doctors, but just as many poorly patients. Junior doctors are the first point of call for anything and everything.
This series is intended to help prepare you for this and to ensure that you, and your patients, have a safe on call.
Many medical students and new doctors worry about their first on call. This anxiety is understandable: on calls are often physically, mentally, and emotionally