Post-Call Rituals

I’ve been milling around senselessly because even though I’m done with call for the night, our water is off and an essential part of my post-call to-do-list is being excluded. If you’ve ever been on call in a busy hospital  you’ll know how important a shower is afterwards…

I’ve been wanting to use this picture in a blog post for a long time.

I like to think I can role with the punches, and that I don’t need a set routine (I’m a med student, what routine?), but certain routines are life savers. Here’s what I do when I get to my room post-call – every time without fail. Except when the water goes out:

1. Turn up the heat (or the cold, depending on the weather)

2. Shoes, socks and filthy coat off (usually quite dramatically, with shoes landing in opposite ends of the room)

3. Blast the music: usually my favourite artists at the time. At the moment it’s Scissor Sisters and Imagine Dragons. Come to think of it, I don’t think my walls are that sound-proof unfortunately. Hope I haven’t been waking my neighbours.

4. Shower: I usually use super hot water, but never more so than post-call. I’m not a germaphobe, but post-call the nail brushes come out in full force, and although I usually keep water use to five minutes, post-call showers are upwards of ten minutes, and I allow myself this indulgence. And lots of singing to aforementioned loud music. Hair gets washed regardless of how recently it was washed before.

5. Drink delicious Rooibos tea: Nothing soothes me quite like this. I might call my parents or The Boy for a quick update depending on the time. This is recouping time.

6. Hot water bottle: this happens regardless of the weather – helps for sore feet.

Much as I like reading, I don’t do this post-call. I don’t really eat either. Post-call insomnia is a thing, and too much stimulation increases its likelihood. (Please tell me someone else out there gets post-call insomnia.)

Do you have any post-call rituals? I guess mine could be a little more exciting, but there’s nothing like a little bit of predictability after a long, unpredictable day.


  1. TrishaDM says:

    I get post-call insomnia.
    I get home and the first thing I want to do is eat. I am always starving when I get home post-call. Usually, I fling shoes and socks, then rub the cat. Then, I go to the kitchen where there is never something good to eat (no matter what we have). So, I shower. I again complain there is nothing good to eat. I then sit on the couch and eat something. Often after this, I waste time reading blogs or on Facebook or doing anything but sleep even though that is all I claim I want to do (after eating). Then, I feel sick because I ate and am sleep deprived, so I toss and turn for what seems like forever until I nap.
    I also hate sleeping the whole day away, so I have a rule that I need to be up for some of the day, even if it is just sitting on the couch catching up on TV.

    1. I want a cat to say hi to when I get home!
      You make a good point about not sleeping the day away – it would just mess up the sleep cycle more as well. I just love sleeping so much…
      LOL at there being “nothing” to eat – sounds like me a lot of the time.

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