The Night Shift
This week I've been scheduled on nights, and it's been a completely different ER experience. While many of the chief complaints are the same as what I've seen during the day in the ER, the pace has been different. There is no doubt that things can get just as hectic at night as they do during the day, but for the most part, things usually tend to slow down at certain points during the night.
Because I've been on a few nights in a row, I have been able to use this extra time as a valuable opportunity to get as much as I can out of each patient encounter. During a busy day, there isn't always enough time after you've presented to sit down with the physician to go over the orders or plan of care as extensively as you might want to. On night shift, I have had a great deal of time to sit down with the night attending physician or PA and discuss my patients and how to work them up, as well as a lot of time to practice my clinical skills. Even though there have been less patients, I've been learning just as much as I do on day shift.
I'm a little surprised by how much I've enjoyed being on nights, and I'm starting to see it might not be a bad idea for a new PA working in the ER to start out with night shift until they gain some experience.