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24 Hours On Call

TUE 1:19AM Back in the team room, Ryder looks up patient information and researches a few conditions on the computer. She is responsible for all the patients the team is caring for but delegates certain tasks—like ordering daily lab tests and filling out paperwork—to the intern. Ryder is also responsible for supervising work done by the medical student and the intern; teaching and providing feedback to both of them; reviewing their notes and orders; overseeing procedures they do; preparing and reviewing discharge summaries; and establishing effective relationships with her patients and their families, as well as with other physicians and caregivers.

TUE 2:11AM Laquer and Ryder are still hard at work, writing patient notes. Notes written by medical students don't count as the only daily progress notes for a patient; the intern must read, correct, and cosign the notes. At the end of each day, the resident sits down with the entire team to review what's been done and make a preliminary plan for the next day.

TUE 2:47AM Ryder is finally about to get a little sleep. On her way to bed, she stopped in the central telemetry unit to check some cardiac information on one of her patients. "The tele unit can give 24- hour data, including trends, and has the benefit of having the tele nurse let you know if there was anything specific that went on," she says. Satisfied that her patient is okay, she heads for her dormlike call room, slips off her white coat (but keeps her scrubs on), and climbs into bed. She'll be paged if she's needed.

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