Thursday, 29 December 2011

Driving Me Crazy

Compared to a lot of people my 20 minute either way commute is pretty short. In spite of the short length, I still have plenty time to get road rage. Lots of road rage. In an attempt to deal with my anger I thought I'd share some of the things that bug me most. If you are guilty of doing any of these things either stop it or stop driving!!

1. Joining the motorway at 20 mph. Do these people not realise how dangerous this is?! The slip road is there for a reason. Use it to build up some speed. This particularly pisses me off when it's someone in a car with a big engine. If my battered Rover 25 can do it your brand new Merc certainly can.

2. Middle lane only drivers... or middle lane only morons as I prefer to call them. You obviously do not understand how motorways work so please stay off of them.

3. People who go in the wrong lanes at big roundabouts. It's on the signs. If you have a driving licence and you can't understand the very clear and simple signs you don't deserve to breathe, let alone drive.

4. People who block the roads for emergency vehicles by freezing in awkward spots. Have some common sense. Are you really helping if you stop so you block the road?! No. So don't do it.

5. People who don't indicate. Indicators are not optional extras on cars, so why do people treat them as if they are?!

I feel quite a lot better after that rant. I should do it more often.

Dr Sunshine xXx

Monday, 26 December 2011

Christmas On Call

I survived my first weekend as the Surgical FY1 on call. Not only that it was also Christmas.

I was dreading the weekend. I'd been prewarned about the team I was working with. The reg is nice, very good in theatre, but expects you to be able to cope on the wards. A fair enough point when you think of how busy the reg is in theatre over a weekend and trying to make sure all the admissions get a senior review. The SHO is also notorious for being a bit of a theatre nut as he is a surgical CT2. In fact he pretty much will not do ward jobs as, in fact a direct quote was... "cannulas, bloods and TTOs are all house officer jobs, not for me to do...". Slightly bizarre since SHO is a senior HOUSE OFFICER, but again in all fairness the SHO is swamped in a&e and then has to assist in theatre.

It turned out to not be too bad. I did all the ward jobs I could. I was snowed under by TTOs and worked as a phlebotomist for most of the weekend, but it was OK. Granted I didn't see much of the reg or the SHO, but they were as busy as I was if not more, so I don't begrudge them that for 1 minute. They also bleeped me or popped their heads into the ward a few times a day so I could ask them any quesstions. All in all I actually felt quite supported.

Although rectal exams at 0845 on Christmas morning (and again twice on Christmas afternoon) and a having to look at a big bowl of melaena were not quite what I had envisioned my Christmas being before I knew that I was working, it was actually OK.

There were a few sad moments. I didn't like making people NBM just before Christmas dinner, I made 4 patients cry by telling them they couldn't go home for Christmas and we discussed making a patient DNAR with his family.

There were also funny moments. I had all the nurses on a ward come and help me sing happy birthday to an elderly gentleman who was having an emergency operation and was sad that he was in hospital on his birthday, we cured a patient with a flatus tube but accidentally sprayed liquid faeces EVERYWHERE and one patient made me cry laughing while she wore a sick bowl as a hat and was tap dancing in bed.

My consultant also bought us Xmas dinner from the canteen. Unfortuately for us the canteen was closing as we got down there so we got what was left of Christmas dinner...

Thankfully we had some mince pies and posh dates to wash the taste away!

The nicest part to my whole working weekend was the end. The SpR and SHO took me to the side and said thank you like always happens at the end of a shift. They then said that I was a really good house officer and that they wanted me to know that because it's so thankless. It made my weekend. I've spent the last 3 weeks wondering if I'm any good and worrying that all my seniors think I'm pants. Maybe I'm not that bad after all.

Dr Sunshine xXx

Friday, 16 December 2011


I haven't blogged in just over 2 weeks.

Surgery is busy and exhausting.

My first day I just wanted to cry as it was so different to paeds. Now I've done over a week of it I'm settling in better and think it's alright, but I still find it exhausting.

One of the toughest things about starting a new job is working out where everything is. I can be on any one of about 9 wards, none of which keep their equipment in the same places. For the first day even something as simple as taking blood took 4 times as long as it should have because I couldn't find anything!!

The other tough thing is getting to know all the new staff. I got on so well with the nurses, HCAs, pharmacists, physios, ward clerks and secretaries. The first few days of surgery were like an interprofessional hazing. Everyone was so harsh to all of us fy1s. I'm happy to say that now I feel like most of that has stopped. Nearly everyone knows me by name and is actually really lovely. I've learnt that a smile and good morning goes a long way, and saying thank you goes even further.

Turns out I'm working Christmas weekend. That means lots of sleep and chilling out this weekend to gear up for it. Where oh where is my social life?!

Dr Sunshine xXx

Thursday, 1 December 2011

First Day of Advent!

It's started! Yay!!

You can see whats happening with my advent calendar on it's own special page.

Along with the excitement of advent starting, I've had an eventful day.

I had lots of successful bloods and cannulae, I got all my paperwork done early and I remembered a brolly to walk from my car to the hospital without getting soaked. My reward for being so productive was an afternoon in NICU.

I find NICU a magical place. It's quite, full of teeny tiny babies in what look like little space pods with lots of tubes and glowing lights. It's also where the clever doctors are, busy interpretting the rows and rows of blood and blood gas results along with oxygen saturations, heart rates, respiratory rates, ventilator settings...

Unfortunately my reward wasn't quite as jolly as I'd hoped. The few hours I was in NICU with my reg coincided with the death of a baby who had their treatment withdrawn earlier in the day. The room was crowed with parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles all saying goodbye. It was such an emotional moment that I felt really intrusive just being in the same room as them. I'm finding it really hard to express the way I felt about it all, but sad would definitely be one of the words I would use. I've wanted to tell someone about it all evening, but I haven't known where to start. Luckly a few texts with a friend who is a paeds trainee have really helped. It's reassuring to be told that it's good to care and it's alright to be sad.

I could still do with a hug right now though!

Dr Sunshine xXx