I spent most of the day thinking about limitations to patient care over the weekend shifts, exemplified in the movie from today. What stuck out to me most is the residents were unable to get ahold of an attending during the weekend – was the team afraid to call and “bother” their attending over the weekend? I’d think so. They had no problem walking into an OR to speak to the attending about blood pressure cuffs on Monday.
Inevitably, something you find out during your first week of intern year is who is nice and who is mean when calling consults, specialists, ect. However all throughout residency you’re encouraged to always call with concerns. How messed up is this? It is completely unreasonable to expect new doctors/nurses/med students to feel comfortable calling with concerns if they know they will be yelled at, grilled unfairly, or repremanded. Some of my most stressful moments during intern year were over a phone.
This is an issue that has to change from the top down. You can tell residents to call for help when they need it all you’d like but if the person their calling is going to make their already difficult day a whole lot worse then these calls wont happen when they should. And the patient pays the price.