All residents participate in the night float (“call”) rotation. A combination of residents, SRNAs, and CRNAs form this team who help relieve non-call anesthesia providers and also provide anesthesia care to emergency and trauma patients needing surgery after hours and on weekends/holidays. Nights and weekends are busy because the University of Iowa serves as the major referral center for all of Iowa and many surrounding states. Cases include multi-system trauma, head, spinal cord, chest, abdominal and extremity injury from blunt or penetrating trauma or the ill patient requiring emergency surgery for acute abdomen, infection, bleeding, vascular injury, or organ transplantation.
CA1 and CA2 residents have 2 week blocks of Night Float call several times each year. In general, the CA1 and CA2 residents, SRNAs, and CRNAs provide anesthesia care. CA3 residents are the team leaders and help triage resources and guide the more junior residents with patient management. CA3 residents also attend “codes” on the floors and attend “trauma activations” in the Emergency Department to manage patient airways under these potentially difficult situations. CA1 and CA2 residents are encouraged to accompany the CA3 resident to codes and traumas as these are valuable learning experiences and another pair of hands is often helpful.
By the end of training, residents are confident and capable of handling any challenging case that comes along.