There's a reason I'm not a poet

Off-duty

So Friday was an interesting day. Driving to work, the cars in front of me suddenly stopped. I figured there must have been an accident, so I got out of my car with a fair sense of trepidation over the possibility of being expected to do something about it. It turned out that a car had veered off the road and fallen into a ditch, with two passengers trapped inside. And so I kinda crapped myself.

Thankfully they were both conscious and seemingly not seriously injured, and I’ll tell you now that when I last saw them heading off in the ambulances towards the hospital (about 5 minutes from the site), they were looking well. So luckily it ended well! But walking up I was pretty anxious.

As other drivers and myself approached the car, someone asked if anyone was a trained first-aider. I replied with the somewhat terrifying sentence of “I’m a doctor”, and gently moved some other guy out of the way to get an idea of how the two men inside were doing. I later realised that this random person is in fact a consultant in my hospital. Awkward. Thankfully a consultant anaesthetist also appeared on the scene shortly after I did and the pressure certainly decreased.

The whole thing was quite a feat on the behalf of the emergency services. I was impressed with the communication between the different team members and how they managed to overcome the various obstacles that a sidewards car in the rain down a ditch with trees and a slowly rising water level presents.

For me, it posed a problem in the sense that my clothes were soon absolutely covered in mud. My brown shoes were black and I was in absolutely no fit state to walk into a building with sick people unable to fight off infections. So I took off my shoes, stole 5p off a stranger to buy a plastic bag to put em in and dandered on round to theatres to find a pair of scrubs. Which was a perfect time to walk past my educational supervisor as I realised that my socks were even more mismatched than ever before.

I obviously ended up being late for work and spent the rest of the day frantically trying to catch up, but I figured it was a decent excuse! And as my first “is there a doctor on board” experience it certainly didn’t disappoint in the realms of anxiety and fear. Fingers crossed that’ll also be something that comes with time

M

You want a piece of me?

Not really posting a huge amount these days- now that I’m in the world of work I don’t know what really to write! I feel like my hands are tied by the old oaths of confidentiality and the line in the sand that I’ve drawn is pretty strict with regards to what I talk about outside the hospital. Some people I know are happy to discuss things that have happened so long as they don’t give any identifiable information away, but I generally prefer to not talk about stuff at all. Especially not on the internet obviously.

But I am enjoying work. I’m coming to the end of my time on my current ward; as of Tuesday I’ll be moving up to an endocrine/haematology ward where I’ll be for the next two months. I think it should be good up there, but I have enjoyed getting to know the people I’ve been working with these past two months, and very much feel like part of the team. So leaving will be a shame.

Less fun parts of the job are the weekend shifts. I was on last weekend and am on again this Saturday. On a busy weekday, you can be running about a fair bit on my ward seeing to the jobs. On the weekend there are just as many admissions so it doesn’t get any less busy, but there are four other wards that you’re expected to be on. Which makes things interesting. Saturdays are pretty grim and me being me I kind of end up beating myself up a bit due to having to let people down. You physically can’t be in several places at once, but several people will simultaneously have extremely valid reasons to ask you to come and see them, and quickly. I’m trying to develop tactics and stratagems (not like me at all eh?) to maximise efficiency, but inevitably you have to say to people that you’re just gonna have to not help them out in any sort of prompt fashion. And that’s a very annoying feeling.

In other news next week is the BAKE OFF FINAL. Dun dun dunnnn. This is the first series I’ve actually followed and it’s a pretty great show. Obviously, me being me, I love all things food-related and so GBBO is just my main thing. A few of my friends were thinking of having a Bake Off bake off next week to celebrate the final, although a bunch of us are actually busy on the night of the final so we’re gonna do it on the Thursday instead and will have to try to avoid hearing who won. Maybe I’ll bring a gun to work.

Might help with the problem of too many people wanting to speak to me

M

Engage

Life’s going quite well in Norn Iron at the minute: job not too stressful, plans happening with my friends and I’ve even been getting a few random stat days off! Which is great, everybody loves a holiday.

Friday night was a great night in Belfast: the annual culture night! Like a hundred venues are open with over 200 events throughout the night, ranging from plays to collaborative drawings, gigs to a roller derby, and food and drink everywhere! My particular favourite was changing across a live reggae performance in a car park. Proud to say I danced like the whitest man alive, and bloody loved it.

Last night was a flat-warming party for one of my school friends and similarly was great craic! Cleverly sat down beside the food and stuffed my face until the people in charge of the music changed seats. At which point the Disney songs and early 2000s cheese came on.

Today was a slightly more mature achievement: I JOINED A GYM. Braving my ultimate nemesis: physical activity. Fingers crossed I manage to stick to my good intentions now that they’re taking money from my pocket. But chances are I’ll end up using it as an excuse to eat even more of all the pies.

M

On how life is

So it’s been a long while since I’ve posted on here. Sorry, to my many thousands of adoring fans. Maaaaaay be a bit of a mammoth post.

I don’t think I’ve actually blogged since starting work, so I guess that’s one major thing to talk about! It’s been a long time coming obviously, and despite all the years of thinking ahead to how it was going to, there are ways in which it’s not what I expected it to be. I was fully aware of the fact that as an FY1 you’re not often the person who gets to make all the decisions, and that essentially for a lot of the time you’re a secretary with a medical degree. And that view has kinda panned out to be true: a fair amount of my time is spent doing paperwork. Which is fine, but one thing I didn’t expect that in the hospital I’m in it isn’t really the norm for the medical FY1s to go on the ward rounds and see the patients. Which kinda meant that for the first while my only patient interaction was when taking blood; I wasn’t seeing any kind of clinical decision making, never mind doing any for myself. And this annoyed me if I’m honest as it massively limits your scope for actually learning anything.

Thankfully, they changed the system of how things work in the hospital shortly after I started, and I spoke to a few of the other doctors on my ward about me getting a bit more involved in the ward rounds. As a result of this I’ve managed to get on the ward rounds virtually every day and so am learning a lot more than beforehand which is good!

The ward I’m based on is filled with some really friendly people, which makes a massive difference to the old happiness levels. People in NI anyway are a bit warmer to strangers than in England, but I think on top of that the atmosphere in the hospital/ward is quite an encouraging and welcoming one, so I’ve been quite content.

The bit that’s not being going so well so far is the flipping practical skills. I knew as a medical student that when I started work the thing I would struggle with is putting needles in. It’s something I’ve never been overly happy with how good I am, and despite practice I seemed to improve but never quite be where I wanted to be. Sadly I’m still not there yet. It’s a little bit frustrating because it means that if there’s a list of things to get through, I’m slowed down massively by something that other people could do in five minutes or so, and so it hampers my ability to get other stuff done.

Oh well.

On a different note I’m really enjoying generally being back in Northern Ireland, and I think it was the right thing to do. I’ve been able to see my family much more often than I have previously, and the amount of effort to do it is a million times less! Having a group of friends that are ready-made has also been a god-send, because making plans is so much easier. You can come back from work and go to the cinema/pub/dinner/Matilda night or else have something fun lined up for the weekend with minimal effort, and the medicine chat stays where it belongs: in the hospital! For example, yesterday we went on a Game of Thrones location bus tour, travelling to some of the places where scenes from the TV show have been filmed (I wouldn’t know as I’ve only really read the books)- apart from being accosted by a French TV crew it was great fun.

Oh and before I forget- the last Reason To Be Happy: MY INCOME. While it’s not astronomical it certainly feels like it as it’s more than enough to do me! I still have an awful lot of debts to pay back but it’s just great to not have to worry quite so much about every pound that you spend and being able to eat what you want rather than what’s cheapest. So yeah, smiles all round!

M

Trying to learn to play this

 

I don’t even play piano. This isn’t gonna go well.

Also hoping to get a blog up shortly about work, life etc. But I’m being a bit rubbish at that, sorry. Watch this interwebspace

M

omg I forgot to say

I’M WORKING CHRISTMAS DAAAAYYYY.

Like a 12 hour shift; don’t finish until 9pm.

Whyyyyyyyy

So I’ve finished the first two weeks of the rest of my life! No more student days for this one. (The lazy person inside of me is crying)

Before starting, because I didn’t train in Norn Iron, the hospital I’ll be working in asked me to show up a bit earlier to shadow the outgoing junior doctors and get used to the hospital system in a different part of the UK. It’s mostly been induction-type things and seminars, but it’s actually proven quite useful to get oriented to the different ways things work. Hopefully now, I shouldn’t have too much trouble in the middle of the night finding the button that says “Please don’t let this patient die”

The hospital is a really friendly place, and all the outgoing juniors seem to think I’ll definitely enjoy my year which is obviously a good sign. I’m in two minds as to how I feel about starting.

Optimistic me:

“Awk I’m sure it’ll be fine. Other people have survived and gotten through it, so I’m sure I will. People expect you to be rubbish so it won’t be too bad”

Pessimistic me:

“People can die. It can be my fault for not being good enough. Staff will expect me to be rubbish but DISEASE FLIPPING WELL WON’T CARE”

At the minute I’m leaning more towards the former thank God. But expect rapid cycling between the two. The current guys finish on Tuesday lunchtime (the cheeky buggers are going go karting and leaving us to fend for ourselves), so the official “first day” is either Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday, whichever you wanna call. I’m currently sitting with my rota for the whole year trying to work out when I want to take my annual leave and how best to avoid being a prat to other people by dropping them in it at busy times. The time to miraculously become an organisational wizard is now. I will of course settle for becoming a wizard.

Man I’d love to be a wizard

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