Never say the “Q” word
We all know of doctors and medical students who perform rituals in the hope that they will have a quiet night on call. Is this pragmatism or just plain stupidity? Patrick Davies and Adam Fox investigate and tell us why you should never say, “It's quiet tonight”
Everyone knows that doctors are rational sensible logical people who use science to further the wellbeing of their patients. They tirelessly work extremely long stressful hours, often in the middle of the night. Students have probably heard some of the myths about on-call nights, and some may have experienced them first hand. But what is not well known is the lengths some doctors go to to minimise their overnight workload and maximise their rest.
General behaviour on the ward can strongly influence how much a doctor is called overnight. Generally, doctors fall in to two camps: those who believe that they will not