de Ruh (de_ruh) wrote in little_details,
de Ruh

Work Schedule/Hours of an Attending Physician at a Canadian Hospital

Research: I've Googled various key word combinations trying to find out what the regulations are for scheduling and working hour limits / what a typicaly work week looks like for attending physicians at Canadian hospitals looks like, but all I'm getting is articles about sleep deprivation during residency.

Setting: "Now" (I don't have my spreadsheet with the exact year I figured open, but I believe it worked out to be 2017.) Government run community hospital in BC, Canada. I'm basing this off of the 2 hospitals I visited family members and friends at while growing up in the Vancouver area. These hospitals are not big teaching hospitals, but they do have fully functioning emergency departments, they do have operating rooms, and they do have psych wards.

Relevant Information: My main character is dealing with the sudden appearance/activation of a congenital condition that will be causing him to experience hypolycemic seizures. It's going to turn out to be a glucokinase mutation with adult-onset of symptoms. Rare, I know, but it happens, and it works for my story.

He'll have his first seizure and end up in the ER on a Saturday night. I'm thinking 11pm or later. At this point he's seen by ER staff that don't really matter. None of these characters re-appear. He gets admited and moved to the appropriate ward. Sunday morning (after breakfast - I'm thinking 8-9am), he is seen by my main doctor character. This character is an endocrinologist (because I figure that's who would diagnose and treat a glucokinase mutation), and he is employed as a non-surgical attending physician at this hospital. He does conduct weekly clinic hours (for seeing patients on an appointment basis), but I haven't decided if this takes place at the hospital or at an off-site clinic. During this day the doctor reveals a little about his suspicions of what's going on, but I'm trying to allow reasonable time for blood tests and what no, so no definitive diagnosis is made. Main character is told he'll probably be discharged in the morning, and asked to come see this doctor during his clinic hours later on during the week. He's also instructed to have the nursing staff notify him if he's re-admited through emergency before then.

Main character is then discharged by the same doctor at 8-9am the next morning (Monday). It is mentioned that this is the beginning of the doctor's shift.

Late Monday night / early Tuesday morning (sometime after going to bed), the main character will end up back in emergency. He is seen by ER nurses, but as per instructions the doctor from before is notified. The doctor from before sees my character before he is admited and moved to the correct ward. Currently I've been picturing this as around 5am Tuesday morning. It's fine for this to be the start of the doctor's shift again, but I'm worried that this is an unrealistic schedule.


Doctor's shifts as the story currently goes:
Sunday: starting 8-9am
Monday: starting 8-9am
Tuesday: starting at or before 5am

I know doctors work crazy hours, but is that reasonable?

Also, I've got a psychologist character making appearances Sunday noon/afternoon, but then just finishing an overnight shift around the time my main character is admited at roughly 5am Tuesday. Is that rasonable?

Given that the hospital has a psych ward, can my psychologist character employed by the hospital be a psychologist, or does he have to be a psychiatrist? I know the difference, but since I minored in psychology I'd rather try to write a psychologist than a psychiatrist.
Tags: canada: health care and hospitals, ~psychology & psychiatry (misc), ~psychology & psychiatry: institutions

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