We all like to pretend we are low maintenance, but the reality is that many of my peers comment on the amount of things I bring to the hospital on a call day. Let’s break down my (maybe not so light) bags:
The essentials: These items you MUST NOT forget for call
- Your pager.
- Your cell phone and charger (26 hours is a long time without a charge, even with a good battery).
- Your stethoscope, and any other specialty related tools (I bring a reflex hammer and pen light to all my shifts).
- Fluids: I pack at least 2 litres of fluids from home, a refillable water bottle, a small tea, and a small flavoured water or juice!
- Meals and Snacks!: I pack 2 main meals, that don’t require a lot of preparation or refridgeration. I eat my “main meal” at lunch, so it has less time potentially unrefrigerated. A typical day on call in food for me may look like: Breakfast – oatmeal, yogurt, fruit. AM snack- nuts. Lunch- Leftovers from previous night’s supper. PM snack- sliced veggies and hummus. Supper-Peanut butter sandwich. Late PM snack: trail mix and usually a small chocolate treat.
- A pen and a back-up pen. And a back-up back-up pen.
- Your evaluation sheet (if required).
- Your ID badge.
- A positive attitude! 🙂 Call is a great learning experience!
The optionals (to other people): These are items I still consider required for call comfort
- A change of underwear, socks, and comfortable shoes.
- A watch. (It looks rude to take your phone out in front of a patient).
- My laptop and a notebook. (You never know when/if downtime will hit!)
- My glasses. (Even if you use daily contacts, they will not feel pretty after 26 hours).
- A sweater. (The hospital feels colder when you’ve been awake for a long time).
- A clipboard-keep organized.
- Note pad. When called, jot down the patients name, vitals, location, who’s calling and a call-back number.
- Another back-up pen (not joking).
- Toothbrush and tooth paste.
- Facial wipes and lotion.
- Lip chap.
- Hair comb and tie.
- If you’re female – always carry emergency hygiene products.
- A condensed pocket handbook for the rotation you’re on.
- Some over the counter analgesia if you’re prone to headaches when tired.
- A credit card AND some cash.
Have fun on call!