18 April 2012

Dissection of a working day

Well, since brown wednesday has been and gone I thought I'd let you in on what my normal-ish daily life is like.

0815AM - wake up. Not impressed, alarm clock not working well. Decide to snooze again for another 14 minutes. Fiancé somewhat confused that I should be at work at 0900 and am still in bed.

0845 - leave house. Damned traffic and ambulances slow me down further. Arrive on to site at 0900 exactly and get on to ward 3 minutes later. I still haven't got used to working for a medical team and start at 0900 rather than 0800. Despite having more of a lie in, the school run traffic is a nightmare.

0903 - handover with team. I was on late last night and need to tell them about the patient we have inherited from surgery who has a surgical problem. We are a medical firm and everyone is generally confused.

0910 - take some bloods from a difficult patient. Patient is a little unusual and I'm glad that the nurse stays in the room.

0930 - start ward round. No consultant to come with us so our core trainee divides the patients up for us to see. I have an amazing medical student with me who is final year and keen to learn. She does most of the work while I scribe.

1030 - have seen 2 patients from the list. They are both complicated with lots of medical and social issues to deal with. Liaise with nurses a lot regarding their care.

1100 - have to do an investigation on a patient myself. It feels a bit like House. This ties me up for 70 minutes and in between doing things I fill in a lot of my ePortfolio and do some e-learning for healthcare. It's surprisingly productive but means that I don't have a clue what is going on with patients on our list.

1250 - quick stop via the canteen for a can of something diet and fizzy in a can before heading off to a departmental meeting. Lunch goes with me. Thankfully this is generally acknowledged as acceptable and munching away on an apple while someone is talking is fine.

1400 - regroup as a team (juniors) to work out what the strategy for the afternoon is. We have a barrage of investigations to order for a patient so we split up and sort them out. Half of medicine is talking to various people (microbiology, haematology, radiology, the lab, physios, nurses, psych liaison, pharmacists etc) to explain why we want certain things done, and that we aren't just trying to waste everyone's time for the sheer hell of it. This takes up most of the afternoon.

1630 - after running around the hospital all day chasing things that other people have already done (we aren't massively great at communicating with each other yet...) it's time to do a final handover with each other to work out what jobs the 'on call' person needs to do. I am the on call person.

1645 - I take the on call bleep and prepare to head to the medical assessment unit (MAU) to do a ward round for all the new patients. Thankfully my team only has 2 jobs for me to do.

1700 - MAU have no patients for me, which is marvellous. Manage to speak to the consultant before she runs up to the ward and relate the good news. She is happy, this makes my life easier. Told to liaise with specialist registrar (SpR) regarding outstanding jobs.

1730 - manage to find the SpR and realise that she has done all except one job - prescribing a complicated medication regime. She dictates what she wants me to do and I head off to do it. No further jobs are given to me.

1740 - find the complicated patient. Prescribe the appropriate complex regime and hand over to the nurses, who, as always, are more clued up than I am.

1745 - grab my bag and head to the canteen and the doctor's mess. Eat a nice healthy salad and find a comfy sofa to deposit myself on. I check that my bleep is actually working (it is) and settle down to watch something trashy on Sky.

2020 - still sat in the mess. Have checked bleep a further 4 times - it is working well and I'm being paranoid.

2025 - go to night handover and report that I have nothing to hand over. Time to go home.