Sunday, August 15, 2004

On confidentiality, anonymity and other sacred tenets
Do you know who might be reading you musings?
Does it matter?

Of course it does. This blog is no more.


Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Quite cathartic
I feel incompetent. Notting Hill keeps saying things like, 'Don't forget to sign that form before you send it off' and 'You probably ought to ring anaesthetics before doing that venflon as it's more urgent.'
Later I get bleeped to 'come and write up some fluids for Mr Mott' but upon arriving I realise that I haven't done that since my medicine block last year, and even then I was never sure because I skived too much. Anyway this nurse is literally breathing down my neck as I pretend to confidently prescribe 'post-op fluids'.
But it's no good. There isn't even a previous prescription on the chart for me to copy. I swallow my pride.

'What exactly should I write?'
'Just put down 2 litres NaCl over 6 hours each, and sign there'

You see, the nurses know this game better than us but they need our signatures. Which could land me in court if I'm not careful.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

You know when you've got too much to do and not enough time? That feeling of not knowing where to start, but that you'd better start asap or you'll be in trouble. Well that last thing you need at such moments is people thrusting more jobs at you, making sure all the while, that you know how bloody urgent they all are.

11.30am: Ward round ends.
11.35am: Start writing discharge summaries for my ward.
11.38am: Bleep goes off.
11.39am: Answer bleep. It's one ward 16 asking me to get down there pronto to write their discharge summaries. I explain that I'll be there when I'm done on my ward.
11.50am: Continue writing summaries for my ward.
11.52am: Bleep goes off.
11.53am: Answer bleep. It's my consultant. He wants me down in theatres to get the operating list for tommorrow organised. Drop everything and go to theatres.
12.15pm: Head back to my ward. Continue writing summaries (I'm still on the first one unsurprisingly)
12.16pm: Bleep goes off.
12.17pm: Answer bleep. Its the other ward again.When will I be there? It's really urgent. There are discharge summaries to be written, venflons to be put in, drug charts to ammend. I offer the same explanation as before. It sounds less convincing.
12.20pm: As I scour the notes trying, for the third time, to work out whether it was Mr B's left or right testicle that was removed, Sister Jo interrupts with a drug chart. Something about pain relief for Mr M, and then the registrar interrupts us both telling me which x-rays I have to find to bring to the X-ray meeting at 12.30pm. My bleep is going off and I listen to the registrar whilst trying to silence it. Must remember to call 4507 when the registrar shuts up.
12.21pm: Decide that the most urgent job is to find these x-rays before 12.30.
12.24pm: Arrive in the x-ray department and ask the secretary to bring out the ones needed for the meeting.
12.25pm: Bleep goes off.
12.26pm: It's Ward 24. Mr K's blood cultures came back positive. They want me to write up some antibiotics since he's still spiking a temperature. What the F*** do I know about antibiotics? I tell them I'll be up there in a while. I pray that they have a formulary on their ward. I need to look up which antibiotics to prescribe.
12.35pm: I get the x-rays and run to the x-ray meeting. It's been cancelled. No free food. Bugger!
12.40pm: Arrive back at my ward to continue, but remember that ward 16 will be really pissed off if they have to bleep again.
12.45pm: I run all the way to ward 16 and arrive sweating. I make a start on the jobs here. But what about Mr K? He needs antibiotics right?
12.48pm: Run all the way to ward 16. Hide in a corner with the BNF. Read up on antiobiotics.....

To be continued. Or not as it's is probably rather boring. In reality it carries on like this until maybe 6.30pm.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

The first day of the rest of my life.
Today was my first day at work. Ever. Way back, whilst slogging through A-levels, med school interviews, preclinical exams, this seemed like the dream. 'It'll all be worth it at the end,' I would tell myself. And in my mind there'd be a picture of me with a stethoscope dangling from my neck on my first day at work. Diagnosing patients, dishing out treatment with a grin, overworked but in a glamorous sort of way. Well here I am. It's happened. And it's so utterly depressing.

So just to recap, for myself, and this is in no particular order of crapness:
1. My partner (Notting Hill) is a perfectionist.
2. Today she and I sat with the doctors whose jobs we take over tommorrow to get some tips and advice on how not to mess up. None of this was useful.
3. I have to turn up at 8am for a ward round. Every day.
4. Sometimes I'll have to turn up at 8pm and then work until morning.
5. My workplace smells of urine. Sometimes I will too. I'm sorry about this.
6. Never again can I say, 'I can't be arsed today so I'll stay in bed.' I should have said that more often over the last 6 years.
7. I will be catching the bus to work.
8. I don't even have a car because I spent my last borrowings in Xinjiang. I am poor beyond belief until the end of the month.

My only pleasure was sitting on the bus home with my ipod. It took me a while to realise it, but this song is profound.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Sorry about that..
Not posting anything and all but I was in China. Which was great... I should probably write about that at some point. The Karakoram Highway and stuff. All in good time.

Anyway I'm going to give this blog thing another go. However, I start working as a PRHO / intern in about two days time. So if being a junior doctor turns out to be as exciting as my starry eyed colleagues seem to think it will be, I may never get around to posting anything.

Anyway I'll be amongst the very first juniors that this european working time directive affects. In other words if the nhs trust makes me work more than 58 hours a week I can complain and take legal action. Will I? I'd like to think I will, but deep down I'm a chicken. Plus I don't want my career plans stamped upon.

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