I'm an ED doc at a fairly slow facility. For the last year I've been working 12 hr night shifts. I love nights, but it really disrupts my sleep schedule. I had a recent vacation and it was amazing to be back on a day schedule! Any way, I'm having my first baby this fall and I don't know what do do with my schedule. I can continue working my 12 hr night shifts, but I nap before work and sleep the day afterwards. I don't know how a baby will fit in this schedule. Or I can work a few 24 hr shifts. I've done one before and it's not fun, but then I would have more days off. My husband and I would like to watch our baby as much as possible (no day care, maybe a rare babysitter) and we don't have family who live in our state.
My other option is to switch to an urgent care. It's a considerable pay cut, but would be day shifts only. I would have to work more days here vs the ED also.
Unfortunately, it's not like you can just "switch to days" in EM...someone always has to work the nights, and nights constitute 50% when you're working 12s.
I personally couldn't do urgent care, and I know many EM docs who can't stand it. It's an option, but you're right - a considerable pay cut.
I personally think 24s are dangerous - even at small shops.
Nights at a slow facility can be a lot of fun. Nights at a super busy shop are painful. Do you get a night differential? Is cutting back your hours an option? How many 12s a month are you doing? There's a huge difference between 10 12s and 16 12s. (or 20 12s, which I did in residency...)
I will let other mothers chime in, but at least at the beginning, you might just try staying with your regular schedule and see how it works for you. It might. It might not.
Thanks for the replies! My husband's schedule is flexible, but he will still work 5+ days a week. And we will likely put her in preschool/daycare, but the schools we like wont take her until 18-24 months.
Oh how I wish there was an ER job with only days shifts! As popcorn mentioned, you almost always have to work the various shifts.
Right now I'm working 12 12 hr shifts. Not bad, I was doing 18 post residency. Most of the people I work with do 15-18 shifts. Actually they work 24 hours at a time. I'm one of the few who does only 12s. I definitely agree about the safety of 24s and I just don't like them. I worked one and I had patients all night, no break. I don't want to do this all the time.
I should mention that my group decided to change the contract this week. It states I agree to a minimum of 12 shifts/ month. I told the director of the group that I have maternity leave this fall and he said he will "try" to hold a spot for me. Try?!?! They are so understaffed and I've had nothing but positive feedback. So I'm feeling bullied into the 12 shifts. My original plan was to work 8 night shifts a month. I think this will be doable and a nice balance of work and family.
I do get a night shift diff. If I work my 12 shifts, I'm getting paid for 13. So many bonuses to staying on nights. But if I don't work 12, they won't guarantee how many shifts I will get or the location they will put me at. I could end up commuting 1.5 hrs away.