Sunday, May 3, 2009

Call From Home

Since I am on call right now, I thought this might be a good time to discuss taking call from home. On one hand, I am really not complaining that I picked a field where I do not have to do q4 overnight call in the hospital. I am thankful for that on a daily basis when I interact with exhausted interns and residents.

But on the other hand, call from home is really not what it is cracked up to be. It sounds benign enough--you sit at home and get to answer calls from the comfort of your couch. If something is urgent, you go in. Or at some programs being on call "from home" also has some set time that you spend in the hospital each day. So you might work basically a full day and then go home and take call. However, you were technically on call "from home" all day, so none of the work you do counts towards duty hours. Pretty sneaky, huh?

Being on call from home has its drawbacks. You are basically stuck at home because you cannot go too far away in case you have to go to the hospital. Access to a phone and computer are needed at all times, so that eliminates things like going out to dinner. I guess if you had an I-Phone you could pull it off, but then you have HIPAA to think about when discussing cases in public. So you sit at home and wait for the pager to go off. And there goes my pager. How ironic. More on this later.

1 comment:

David Prosper said...

I've been curious about this topic myself. I'm waiting for the conclusion. I'm considering a field with some home call and I was curious about the actual workings of it.