Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Changeover Day

Today is the last changeover day of the academic year for most foundation doctors. That means we are switching to our final jobs of the year. This isn't quite as nerve wracking as the first or second job, but I'm still pretty nervous.

I am starting on nightshifts. Our nightshifts are notoriously busy covering surgery, urology and orthopaedics, but that isn't what worries me most. What if I get lost? I've only worked in A&E in this hospital, I have no idea where anything else is. Not even the loos, let alone the wards! I don't even know where I can leave my bag and stash of nightshift food.

This is also my first ever proper nightshift with a post take ward round afterwards. I don't think A&E nights count as the dept is the same as the day just with less staff. In psych we did 24hr on calls so if I got called in it would only be for an hour or two. As an FY1 my trust didn't do nights. I don't really know what to expect. I'm guessing the clerking admissions thing will be pretty much the same as A&E (and will often happen in A&E) but it has been over 8 months since I was last running around hospital wards.

I also can't really remember how to use the computer system in the hospital. Oops. Hopefully it will all come back to me.

I'm also feeling very emotional after leaving my last placement yesterday. The nurses and HCAs clubbed together and got me a HUGE bunch of flowers and box of chocolates. They are all just so lovely and it will be a real shame not to work with them anymore.  I'm very excited about the ward night out that I'm going to at the end of the month.

Now I just need to work out the best way to sleep before this set of nights. I slept quite well for 6-7hrs overnight, so a lengthy nap this afternoon and I should be OK.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

On call dramas

Today is my last 24 hour on call for psychiatry. It could even be my last 24hr on call until I'm a consultant. Some people love these on calls but I don't. I'd much rather work my socks of for 12-13 hours and be able to sleep at night knowing I'm not getting called out, rather than having a calmer on call but potentially getting up at 2am.

I'm also not a big fan of how much paperwork is involved in psych. It can take hours to assess, fill out the paperwork for and admit just 1 patient. Give me a clerking and drug chart any day. I also get lonely in psych. When on call I'm the only doctor. Yes I could call the consultant but it's not the same as bumping into a reg and being able to chat about patients.

I shouldn't moan because I have had some on calls where I have hardly been called at all. Unfortunately for me tonight isn't going to be one of those. I have a patient in seclusion which means they need to be reviewed by a doctor every 4 hours. I live 30 mins from the hospital which means that I have an hour round trip and then 3 hrs rest. Technically as I need an 11hr break I should get time off tomorrow but I know that I have lots to do on the ward so that probably won't happen.

On the plus side my lovely husband is off work so he is going to taxi me back and forth tonight. Hurrah! Must remember to not be crabby to him... At least not tonight anyway.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

"A Very Caring Doctor"

Recently at work, due to a few reasons that would take a blogpost of their own, I have been feeling a bit disenchanted with Foundation Training. In fact the other day I found myself sitting in my car after a meeting sobbing because I just didn't want to do it anymore. I felt as if I had spent every day of the last 18 months giving not only 100% of my working self to my job, but a whole lot more than that. I had given a lot of my love and my soul to what I was doing. Not only did I take on extra things but I'd spend time I could have been having a break with my patients holding their hands, having cups of tea and generally trying to make things a bit better for them.

I guess it boils down to feeling a bit unappreciated. Now I'm not trying to say that I need my ego to constantly be fed with compliments, but being told that I'm in danger of not being signed off for FY2 by a doctor I have never met before really didn't go down well. I felt like I had given my heart to work and that they had taken it outside and stamped on it.

The lovely ward clerk at work has been going out of her way to make me feel better. She points out all the compliment letters we get at work that mention my name and photocopies them for me. Today she went a step further. 

Today is the last day I was working with her, as she is on annual leave until I go to ortho in a fortnight. I got to work to find this in my diary...

It had my name on it too so it wasn't for some other caring doctor. It just meant so much to me that someone who see's me at work every day can see that I do actually care.

She also bought me a lovely bunch of tulips. I was a bit worried about them wilting on the way home so with the help of a patient I created a portable vase...

I think the hand-painted floral detail really makes it stick out. Properly marketed I could have a business idea right here. 

It was such a lovely gesture that I don't think I'll be able to stop smiling at least until I start my new rotation (on nights!!).

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

The Commute

One of the things that makes me feel really grown up is the fact I drive to work. It sounds bizarre that the day-to-day bits of my job like treating patients, talking to families, organising tests don't make me feel like an adult, but the process of getting out of bed and into my car does.

That doesn't mean I like commuting. In fact I hate it. My car is a running joke. Not only do expensive bits of it break all the time but even the basics don't work. My driver side door doesn't shut properly so I get rained on. This means that when it freezes outside my ever-damp car seat also freezes leading to a soggy-bottom as it defrosts on my way to work. 

The only good bit about commuting is singing along to my tunes. I have an embarrassing love of country music. I've just discovered the show Nashville so I now spend my mornings wailing along to the soundtrack. In a strange way I love the weird looks I get from other drivers when I'm clearly singing-a-long at the top of my voice, but I'm not sure it would go down as well if I was walking. 

Except for the singing I wish I could walk to work. When I started FY2 I was walking distance from the hospital and loved waking up with a 10 min walk to work. 

So here comes the difficult decision...

I might (maybe, hopefully, possibly), get to live walking distance from my new job in September. This is a little dependent on where Hubby gets a job. Not even I am evil enough to make him commute for hours. Obviously if I can walk to work I won't keep my car, but what do I do now? It needs the door fixed, and the windscreen changed and some expensive bits underneath done. It's also going to need new tyres eventually. Do I string it out and wait until Sept and hope I can get rid of it, or do I invest a bit now in the hope it will last much longer (although I could never recoup the investment selling it)? 

I just don't know what to do. I imagine that whatever I do it will just blow up again soon.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Starting Afresh

For many years I loved blogging. I wrote almost daily about my life at medical school ( and could not see a time where it wouldn't be a natural part of my day. A way of getting things off my chest and reaching out to people I would not have known otherwise. I started a new blog after graduating ( but I was never quite got the same happiness from it. I even tried to keeps blog of recipes for a while (

I'm not sure why I stopped. After I graduated I just found it harder. I was worried about people finding out who I was, thinking I was silly or somehow accidentally offending a colleague or patient.

I've missed it.

Now that I feel a bit more settled after a few months of complete life changing madness I think it's the right time to get back to blogging. I'm pretty confident that I can blog within boundaries while still being true to myself. I'm also not worried if people find out who I am, I don't think I'd write something that I wouldn't say out loud.

I can't wait to start typing (...okay, perhaps I mean ranting), about life, work and whatever is on my mind again.