There is nothing in the world quite like being on call for something significant. Trauma call. OB call. Cardiac call. You have 2 extremes. You can do nothing for the time that you are on call. I mean nothing. You can just sit in the call room and watch the Discovery Channel. On the other hand, you can have to bring all of your knowledge and skills to bear to try to save someone who is dying. That’s call. There is nothing like the feeling when you are in the middle of trying to save someone’s life. The “team”, and it is a team, is working together to try to reverse the dying process. There are doctors, nurses, respiratory therapy, nurse’s aids, lab techs and EMS. All of us have to come together to fix the problem. When the system works correctly, there is no better feeling than saving someone.
I’m not sure how other physicians feel when the call night is over and you have saved a life, but I’m completely drained. Happy but exhausted.