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