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How manageable are 6 consecutive days of EM shifts?


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I have an elective coming up during which I'm scheduled to do 6 straight days of EM shifts (~7 hours each). I know that EM docs generally work about 3-4 shifts per week on average as ED works tends to be very busy and burnout is high. This will be my first time doing EM work so just wondering what I should expect. Is 6 consecutive shifts too much? I do have 4 days of rest afterwards (no shifts scheduled).

Appreciate the help.

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If they're all day shifts you'll be fine. A EM shift as a medical student feels about the same as any normal work day on IM. If anything even though there's a constant low level of busyness, time passes faster because you aren't bored to death on rounds.

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23 minutes ago, zxcccxz said:

I have an elective coming up during which I'm scheduled to do 6 straight days of EM shifts (~7 hours each). I know that EM docs generally work about 3-4 shifts per week on average as ED works tends to be very busy and burnout is high. This will be my first time doing EM work so just wondering what I should expect. Is 6 consecutive shifts too much? I do have 4 days of rest afterwards (no shifts scheduled).

Appreciate the help.

It will be perfectly fine, you're a medical student, not a busy emerg doc. Only thing that may be annoying is if you have overnight shifts mixed in, and have to adjust sleep. Otherwise objectively the ED rotation is usually the chillest as a medical student, as you're keeping busy doing things, but no one is really relying on you to pump out patients, or do much scut work like on the wards.

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On 4/22/2021 at 1:33 PM, zxcccxz said:

I have an elective coming up during which I'm scheduled to do 6 straight days of EM shifts (~7 hours each). I know that EM docs generally work about 3-4 shifts per week on average as ED works tends to be very busy and burnout is high. This will be my first time doing EM work so just wondering what I should expect. Is 6 consecutive shifts too much? I do have 4 days of rest afterwards (no shifts scheduled).

Appreciate the help.

I’ve done this several times (and it’s easier than working 14 days straight with two weekends of call, which I have also done). I am always tired by the end of the week but totally fine. The great thing about Emerg is the days off after. Outside of covid times I would usually take advantage of those extended weekends for a camping trip or something that’s hard to do on other rotations! 

I also find ED shift volumes can vary a lot by hospital and time of day, so some days are more exhausting than others. Especially if you don’t have any / much ED experience, your preceptor is not likely going to expect you to see more than a handful of patients. And pace yourself. If the attending tells you to take a break, take a break. If you need a break, ask for a break

 

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As a med student, you aren't really expected to generate much or any flow for the department, so you can really see patients at your own pace. Most staff will let you out at a reasonable time post-shift (you aren't usually expected to wait for all tests to come back, consults to be made/done, etc. And if you do need to stay, you have less patients that you need to disposition.). Six shifts should be manageable, but will probably be a little tiring.

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