07 June 2012

48 hours

The European Working Time Directive says that we should work no more than 48 hours per week. Doctors can opt out of this if they want to, but my rota isn't written beating this in mind.

The hospital gets around this by saying that the 48 hours is worked as an average over a month. As much as I would think this was normally amazing I reckon I'm due a week off soon.

Last week I worked my rota of 70 hours in 7 days but never managed to leave on time. I ended up working closer to 80-85 hours in that time.

While you might think this is a rare occurrence I have the hell period coming up again where I work 12 days in a row. That's 107 hours if I manage to leave on time every day for 12 days. It won't happen. It has nothing to do with time management or prioritising, it's just that patients seem to get sick at the most inopportune moments.

I can't speak for other hospitals and departments but this is how my rota runs.

And as a result of this doctors have no social life and make mistakes due to exhaustion.

This is why there is burnout and compassion fatigue amongst NHS doctors.

Roll on 21st June

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