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Housemanship Life in Medicine

First Day On Call As A House Officer: Four Doctors Share Their Experience

In your final year as a medical student in Nigeria, while you prepare and are being prepared to make the transition from medical school to medical practice, one of the goals of your teachers is to equip you for your first day on call as a house officer.

You will often hear case scenarios like this: “It is your first day on call as a house officer in the accident and emergency ward. A 25-year-old lady is rushed in. She is anxious, in painful distress and bleeding per vaginam. Her pulse is weak and blood pressure is 90/60 millimetres of mercury. How will you manage this patient?”

Your teachers need to be assured that you can be trusted with the lives of patients. As a house officer, you are the first doctor on call, that is the one whom patients come into contact with first. This is the reason every final year medical student must be armed with initial resuscitation and stabilization skills.

I have often wondered what my first day as the house officer on call would be like and prayed to have a good one. Today, four doctors share their experience. Enjoy.