tired doctorSaturday, 3.00pm

'Worked hard all week – now I'm in the middle of a 16 hour shift.

Wish I could be in bed instead. I'm exhausted. It's so depressing having to witness three nursing shifts change while I am on my own for the whole time.

The calls keep coming in. My list grows longer and longer. What do I do? Haven't had lunch. I'm starving and tired - cranky, too.

I'd better re-site this cannula – the patient is already overdue for his antibiotics. Then I'll go on a break...

Beep, beep, beep. Another urgent thing to do - HELP! I'm drowning...'



Tips for Overtime

  1. Ask for help: and vice versa. If you’re not too busy, ask the other person if they need help; what goes around, comes around.
  2. Buddy up: cover double the number of wards but with another person and attack the wards together. That way you have company and are less isolated.
  3. Take regular meal breaks! If you are hungry and tired, you will be less efficient.


An initiative of the Doctors’ Health Advisory Service (NSW), the Medical Benevolent Association, the AMA Doctors in Training Group, the Resident Medical Officers’ Associations, the Australian Medical Students’ Association, the Clinical Education and Training Institute and the NSW Employee Assistance Program with funding from the Medical Board of NSW (2009).