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Can doctors sleep at hospital?

Medicine is simply an always kind of job. Being a healthcare professional is not an easy job as you will have to deal with every kind of patient with different cases and situations. When you decided to become a physician, you no doubt sought out advice from trusted mentors, advisors, other physicians, even peers who had traveled that road before you. Becoming a doctor likely started as an abstract thought that became all-consuming. Somewhere along the line, your everyday life revolved around school, training, procedures, you get the picture.

One of the daily challenges in medicine is deciding how to organize your day. No matter if you are rounding on a large hospital census or seeing patients in the office, a crucial skill all physicians need to possess is the ability to organize. Whether it be time, data, or patient load, physicians have an innate skill to categorize what needs to be done and in what order. It’s certainly possible you have spent years honing them into an almost unconscious routine that you do every day to survive the rigors of practicing modern medicine. Doctors, physicians, or surgeons have to be “on-call” duties and on their steps every minute in case of emergencies and to deal with multiple patients. It’s natural for them to forget about their well-being and health. But always remember that a doctor being healthy means they will be able to treat their patient well too.

When you were accepted to medical school, you may have had an idea in mind of what type of medicine you wanted to practice. Alternatively, you may have started with an open mind, taking the time to get a feel of what was the best fit for you and your personality.

How many hours does the doctor work?

If given a choice, many patients would prefer s well-rested physician over one who might be tired from a long shift. In a survey of 1200 Americans, less than 1 percent of respondents said that doctors should work more than 24 hours while 90 percent said that shifts should be limited to 16 hours or less. Of the 581 respondents, 70 percent reported needing at least 7 hours of sleep to function at their best during the day, yet physicians reported sleeping an average of 6.5 hours on a workday. Physicians reported “making up” for lost sleep on the weekdays or days off by sleeping an average of 7.5 hours a night.

Most physicians work between 40 and 60 hours per week, but nearly one-quarter of physicians work between 61 and 80 hours per week, according to the 2014 work/ life profiles of Today’s Physicians released last year by AMA Insurance. About 20 percent of responding physicians aged 60 to 69 works fewer than 40 hours per week. For the rest of their careers, doctors work an average of 59.6 hours/ week. The average doctor’s career ends at 65. If they finish their residency at 29, they will spend 36 years working almost 1 ½ times more than most other Americans. In other words, it would normally take 54 years to do the work that doctors do in 36. A doctor must work 18 hours a day and seven days a week. The mandate decreased by nearly half the number of consecutive hours that first-year doctors in training can spend on the job.

Can doctors sleep at hospitals?

The answer is quite simple. Physicians, such as ER doctors and House Physicians are on call 12 to 24 hours. This means that they are in the hospital ready to deal with any request that is demanded of them. There can be long hours during which nothing happens. During these, they can sleep in order to provide enough for them to function and treat the patients well. Studies have shown that night shift doctors are more alert after taking a nap about halfway through the shift.

Where can doctors sleep?

An on-call room, sometimes referred to as the doctor’s mess is a room in a hospital with either a couch or a bunk bed intended for staff to rest while they are on call or due to be. On-call rooms have something of a reputation for housing hospital shenanigans. But rather than being seen as a fictional place of mischief that’s overly dramatized by one too many hospital TV shows, they are actually fairly conservative places. Designed to provide refuge for doctors working on call, most rooms are simple in nature with a bed, sofa, or couple of chairs to rest. The key features of an on-call room include:

  • Privacy
  • Silence
  • Bed or sofa
  • Desk
  • Computer
  • Communication systems

Working on-call medicine typically refers to a team that’s ready to respond or on duty at the time of emergency. For physicians tasked to work in these teams, working on-call can be particularly stressful. The biggest challenges include:

  1. Stamina (being able to stay alert working long hours)
  2. Competence (being able to maintain quality of care in the face of possible fatigue)
  3. Expertise (having wide enough knowledge and experience to deal with any potential case).


Doctors who sleep in on-call rooms are usually resident physicians who work long hours as part of their training. They could also be an obstetrician who is waiting to deliver a baby at the proper time. In neither case is the physician paid by the hour. If there is a break in the action they can sleep or they should sleep. They will be “called” when they are needed. They must be available at all times or signed out to another physician. They are on call for 24 hours or more. Sleep is very necessary in order for the doctors to work well and their minds to be fully active. A healthy doctor can treat a patient well and it actually helps the patient too by seeing an active and fresh doctor at their service.

About Rachel

Hi my name is Rachel; a registered nurse. I graduated from one of the best nursing programmes and have been working in the medical field for 10 years. As a licensed practical nurse, I understand the plight that comes with the job. While I enjoy taking care of patients, I understand the long working hours that nurses have to deal with. We spend majority of the shifts walking around the medical centre making sure all patients are taken care of and this requires a lot of work and energy on the feet. https://bestnursingshoes.net has been created to help nurses from different parts of the world find the perfect shoes to reduce the strain on your feet and posture and make the job much easier.

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