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How Doctors Stay Alert

Discussion in 'Doctors Cafe' started by Egyptian Doctor, Aug 19, 2019.

  1. Egyptian Doctor

    Egyptian Doctor Moderator Verified Doctor

    Mar 21, 2011
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    Imagine working once for straight 24 hours with no sleep break! How much focused will you be?!! Can you stand on your feet this whole period? What if you need to be 100% focused? What if someone’s life depends on you?

    That’s a typical working day for medical residents and some specialty doctors. So, what exactly do they do to stay focused the whole time?!

    New doctors say that adrenaline is their secret for staying awake and focused. They say they’re always nervous at first having to attend patients on their own responsibility.

    One female resident says she needs different sources of caffeine to be able to go through the night shift. She would have several American coffees per day as well as espresso beans covered in chocolate and some energy drinks. Through longer shifts extending more than 30 hours, chewing nicotine gum is better than having caffeine she says. It keeps her alert all the time with steady low doses of the released stimulant.

    Basically, night shift doctors don’t find the time to get a decent meal. They have to avoid dying of hypoglycemia with some unhealthy easy to reach snacks. A good option would be peanut butter and some crackers. Those can keep your stomach full for some time.

    Another surgeon says she didn’t have a problem staying awake when there was work to do. Once the hospital starts being quiet, she would eat lots of candies to stay awake. If that fails, she would get some fresh air or go dance in the call room to her favorite music.

    One surgeon from Denver, Colorado says he would stay in the hospital for 48 hours at a time. To stay awake he had to take short naps to recharge. Other times he would just watch tv in the call room, chat with his colleagues, or take some walks around the hospital grounds to stay alert. Then he would go home and help his wife with their three toddlers.

    Every doctor certainly has his own way for surviving those seemingly endless night shifts. In the end, they all cope and survive!.


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