Sunday, 5 October 2008

Working Nine to Five - or not even close.

Ok, so I promised to blog the weekend before last and didn't. The main reason for this is that we now have 4 dead laptops in our house (don't ask what we do to them - I've no idea). Anyway, we've just got a desktop courtesy of missbliss's parents (thank you :))  Of course there is also the other matter of being quite busy. This whole working thing is rather annoying, most of the time I'm only supposed to work 8 hour days, at least that's what the hospital would like to think (naturally we are EWTD compliant). This makes life difficult enough, especially when you consider I've not done an 8hr day yet! When the bloody hell are you supposed to go to the bank when you have a job? When are you supposed to go and spend your hard earned cash? I barely have enough time to wee during the day let alone leave the hospital! I don't mind being busy as it makes the time go quickly but I could do with a 4 day week just so that I can do everything I need to do outside of work. 24hr Manchester had its advantages in that respect. This makes time for blogging a little short - but now we have a computer which hopefully will work for more than 2 days, it should be easier!

I've just finished what should have been 12 days straight, actually I had friday off so it was infact only 11 days. My day off wasn't much of a holiday though, apart from a yuppie-esque lunch in town with missbliss who was working, I spent all day catching up on real-life admin - bore. It was my first weekend 'on call' (basically ward cover for about 200-300 patients) last weekend and it was genuinely the most stressful weekend of my entire life. Not in a oh my god I can't do this way but in a holy shit what the hell is going on way. The fact I had some really great senior staff probably prevented me from the complete emotional collapse that some of my colleagues have had. I can safely say that it isn't fun when someone is effectively bleeding half of their circulating volume out through their rectum right in front of you. Overall, apart from the fact it was a weekend, I quite enjoyed myself - although I'm not rushing to do another one! The responsibility is bloody scary but at the same time quite exhilarating, the chance to see and do some acute medicine is refreshing compared to my usually quite stable ward patients. 

Inevitably, with independence and lack of experience come mistakes - I don't know whether or not I've made any yet, particularly as I rarely see again the patients I see when on ward cover. The hardest thing about being on cover is prioritising things, that is the key. In fact, the same can be said for the whole of medicine. When your bleep is going off every 5 minutes, not only do you have to be organised but you also have to have a way of triaging things in your head. Some jobs can be done in minutes but complex and ill patients can take hours. Am I supposed to run off and answer my bleep every time I'm in the middle of something? It might be polite, but it is completely impractical. For me this was one of the hardest things to get used to, although sometimes I regret answering - for example when switchboard have for some reason given my bleep to a very persistent job-seeking cleaner, seriously, like I don't have more important things to worry about!

P.S - when sorting through our music on our shiny (old) desktop I discovered missbliss has no fewer than 9 copies of Dolly Parton's, Working 9 to 5. 


madsadgirl said...

It's nice to see you blogging again, and that you haven't lost your sense of humour. It also seems to me, that no matter how difficult or scary you are finding this new responsibility, you are still enjoying being a doctor. Long may that continue.

Flossy said...

I find family and friends very useful! Send them to town with cheques to pay in and shopping lists..... it just wouldn't happen otherwise! Good luck getting used to it!
The advantage is that I still have £30 of waterstones vouchers from Xmas :0)

Dr Michael Anderson said...

Well done for getting through your first weekend on-call it's rarely a fun experience - have you done any nights yet?

I feel your pain about the working hours. Like you, we're meant to be EWTD 56hr compliant. The rota on paper is perfectly compliant but the problem is that the first year anaesthetist aren't allowed to be on-call until November. This means that we second years have to cover all their shifts and it's not fun at all.

As for banking/shopping/personal admin - I've found that the internet is my best friend for that.

Keep up the good work!

Elaine said...

What a great post. You continue to tell a good story to make your readers feel a part of your life. I can understand that the weekends on call are the bestlearning experience for you (necessary if you are to progress, but SCARY). Anyway, good to see you back and I shall now go and check on Miss Bliss's blog.


ditzydoctor said...

good luck tlm! :) being on call is my worst nightmare.

and oh dear, i do hope you get to go pee more often!!! ;)

PhD scientist said...

I don't imagine you're old enough to have seen it when it came out, LM, but you might be able to find the first series of Ged "Bodies" Mercurio's "Cardiac Arrest" somewhere online or on DVD. The very first episode - the houseman's first day at the sharp end - was a stone classic, and the first series as a whole was voted "best medical TV show ever" by a large body of my medical cronies. Worth watching if you can find it to see what you think has changed.

skinnyminny8 said...

yay you are back!

Glad to hear that you are still enjoying the challenge :) Good Luck !

thugmed said...

Check out a new med student blog with videos and great notes.

Bayen said...

congratulations on being a doctor. you finally did it