‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the floor
Not a creature was stirring, not even the R4;
The pager that clung to my waistband was still,
Providing a much-needed respite from the chronically ill;
The patients were nestled all snug in their beds;
While opioid-induced visions danced in their heads;
And I in my white coat, my scrubs looking like crap,
Had returned to the call room in hope of a nap,
When out on the floor there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my cot to see what was the matter.
Away to the wards I rushed without thought,
Wondering what new trouble this cold night had brought.
The nurses were rushing out from a room;
Sinking my stomach as my mind filled with doom.
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a flash of white and a recognizable beard,
With a voice that I knew, but still gave me pause,
And wide-eyed, I greeted the attending, Dr. Claus.
He wrote a new order for a patient in pain,
And sensing my confusion, he began to explain:
“Now, doctor, come now, don’t look so surprised
sometimes I check on my patients to ensure they’re alive!
I’ll put in an order, d/c a med, and do a pap smear!
I just get so caught up in the holiday cheer!”
And with that he rushed off to fill patients with hope,
But not before borrowing my stethoscope;
I followed behind, slowly, and kept him in view,
I had a coat full of lists, but nothing to do—
And then, with such beeping, my pager went off,
A lady down in the ED had come in with a cough.
As I hung up the phone, and was turning around,
Down the staircase Dr. Claus went with a bound.
By the time I made it to the patient’s bedside,
He was already halfway through his HPI;
He was pushing on her belly and squeezing her toe,
He looked in her ear and he consulted Ortho.
His differential—how it grew! His orders, how thorough!
He stroked his white beard, his eyebrows like a furrow!
He ordered 10 labs then he ordered some more,
Put in a Foley himself and admitted her to the floor;
The back of his pen he held tight in his teeth,
My stethoscope encircling his neck like a wreath;
He checked back with Epic every minute or three
Awaiting the results of the CBC.
He was lost in the chase, that elusive ‘ol doc
And I liked watching him work (once over the shock);
He gave me a wink while writing his note,
And reached over to pat on the back of my coat;
When the labs trickled in, he let out a shout,
“Aha! Of course! Just a bad case of gout!”
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up to the med floor he rose;
He sprang to her room to give her the plan,
And then as quick as he came, disappeared like batman
But I heard him exclaim, as he flew down the hall—
“Don’t phone me this Christmas, I’m no longer on call!”