On Call :-( (written by Sue)

Today is Memorial Day and I am alone, sitting in front of the computer, waiting.  Today is my holiday to work so here I sit.  Waiting for my family to come and have lunch with me and waiting for my pager to go off.  Will I be paged before they get here so they don’t have to drive a half hour and not see me?  Will I be paged while they are on their way?  Will I be paged while they’re here and I have to leave them hanging?  I just never know.  I work in surgery at a small local hospital and have to take ‘call’ as part of my job.  We have normally scheduled hours like everyone else, but we all know that most people don’t get sick between 8am and 5pm!  Because of that, there is a team assigned to pick up any emergencies that may come in after hours.  Evenings, weekends, and holidays are all covered and we all take our turns.  I love my job, but this part sucks.  Being away from home large chunks at a time you realize how much you can miss.  One year I had to miss my nephew’s birthday because it was my weekend to work and no one could switch with me.  I still feel horrible about that.  Working holidays was also hard for me to get use to since my family has big cook outs and everyone actually shows up! 

I know that I am not the only one.  Are you someone who is gone from home for longer periods of time due to work?  Do you do shift work?  Every other weekend?  Do you have to travel a lot and to far away places?  I’m very lucky that my husband understands that this is part of my job and he’s supportive, but it’s not all sunshine and roses all the time.  Thanks to everyone who works hard no matter where they work or what they do, at home or outside the home.

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9 Responses to On Call :-( (written by Sue)

  1. Joy says:

    I feel bad for you Sue. I know, I’ve been with you when that pager went off and your like, “see ya, gotta go!” But when you look at it this way, this holiday is better than Thanksgiving, Easter or Christmas. I guess in your line of work, you have to look at it that way.

    I do also give Toby a lot of credit. He has a lot more “parental” dad responsibility than most dad’s and I think he does it very well. He is a lot more involved than most dad’s and I feel he will be closer to your children because of it. He’s the one who takes them to daycare and tucks them in at night and gets them off for the day. They will have more memories of their dad than most kids.

    I also do feel bad for the kids sometimes. Sue is on call every Wed also and has to spend the night, just so you folks reading this will know. Those kids are in daycare and school and then travel for “supper” with mom and sometimes they just don’t feel like it. They are tired and just want to play. Then they feel guilt because they want to see mom but they don’t want to ride in the car. It’s hard for them.

    So Sue, thank you for what you do. For working to help us if we get hurt or sick. THANK YOU

  2. SKL says:

    I have weird hours – basically 9:30am-5:30pm 5 days, plus 9pm-12am (or later) 7 days, plus 1:30-4pm 2 days, plus a certain amount of traveling and early morning and evening meetings. This would be a great schedule if I was childless, but it is really tough as a single mom with two babies. Talk about guilt! We do get quality time most days, but I absolutely hate it when I have to be away from my kids during the times we’re normally together. I miss them and I feel like I’m not doing my most important job. I’m working to find a solution where I spend more time with the girls during the day.

  3. Eric says:

    Sue this hits home with me I know how hard it can be but for people like us do what we do because we believe in a bigger picture then most we sacrifice our own things to be places at certain hours our for a weekend at a time and thats a special gift to be able to think like that. I know you love what you do and that is why you do it. But loving what you do comes with sacrifices. This year I will miss thanksgiving, birthdays, Christmas, and my first child being born so I know how hard it can be but if there weren’t people like us things would be a lot worse for other people. So just think of it as you doing good for others.

  4. Tessa says:

    Yea, Thanks Sue and everyone else that sacrifices family and personal time, so the rest of us are safe and taken care of in times of need. It is a very honorable job working in places like hospitals, military, and human service professions like police, social workers, ect.
    I know you won’t be able to go to Donald’s/Grandpa’s when we are there either, so we are sad about that! But we understand you got to do what you got to do!
    I have a few cousins who are paramedics/nurses that also miss a lot of family functions because of work and I miss seeing them!
    Take Care and Thanks for your sacrifices!

  5. Ali says:

    I will get in line to thank you as well Sue. It’s people like you who sacrifice your time in order to help others. It sounds like you have a good husband. I know they are his children too but a lot of men would balk at this. Kudos to both of you.

  6. Jane says:

    We’re farmers so I hear you Sue. Animals don’t know it’s a holiday! LOL!!! There are a lot of things you can do ahead of time but to feed and milk, that has to be done so we have to leave gatherings and go back and forth. We’re used to it and at least we are at home, not stuck at a hospital so like the rest have said, thank you for being there in case we need you.

  7. Sue says:

    Oh my! This wasn’t meant to be a pitty party for myself!!! I just think that all of us have some aspect of our job that we don’t like as well as other aspects. I am also glad that someone is willing to work at the grocery/convience store ’til 10pm so I can get milk for the next day or gas because I forgot to earlier.

    I am very bummed, Eric, that I won’t get to see you on the 4th, and when looking at your job I’m very lucky that I’m only a half hour from my family. Having worked Thanksgiving and Christmas and knowing how much that sucked, it won’t compare to missing the birth of your child. We’ll be thinking of you every moment you are gone and we’ll take good care of Tessa!

    I had an aunt and uncle that were dairy farmers so I hear you Jane! OH, it’s 4pm gotta milk the cows, don’t wait for us to eat supper. There are schedules that are worse than mine and I just wanted to see what everyone else had to deal with on a daily basis. Oh, and I don’t want to leave out the “regular” shift people because I think they have to put up with a lot of crap too!

  8. Tessa says:

    Thanks Sue!

  9. Tessa says:

    I figured you were just looking to get a convo going on the topic and interested in what people had to say! I still say thanks and thanks for putting others first!!

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