Thursday, September 29, 2005

Thank god for locums

I went to my GP yesterday who actually was sick, so I saw another (very nice) medic who graduated the year before me and so understood the hell of being an SHO and understood that I wanted to be a registrar but wasn't sure if I was capable of passing the exams and that I was very stressed at work and didn't know how to cope. In fact I think I walked in and sounded fairly desperate because she took me fairly seriously. She agreed to give me 5 nights worth of sleepers, and I'm only allowed to take them at night (i.e. not to get rest during the day when on a night shift) and not continuous nights (standard procedure) and I have to go back and see her next week as she is a locum at the practice and will therefore be around for a few months. She said that I don't have to see occupational health at this moment in time but would like me to consider the idea of some form of psychological therapies to help me be prepared for any possible setbacks I may hit. All sound advice really.

Another locum who arrived yesterday was the locum registrar who is taking the position of the one who sauntered off to another trust and he seems exceptionally pleasant and wants to help all the SHOs/PRHOs along the way, which makes a change. Usually registrars just want to become senior registrars and consultants and don't give a damn about who they tread on along the way.

Found myself being a bit of a counsellor yesterday afternoon to a PRHO who I know has been having some problems. She's currently on her 6 month surgical rotation within MAAU and is therefore responsible for a hell of a lot of suturing and overseeing patient transfers to surgical wards. I knew a bit of her persoanl history, her mum was diagnosed with cancer during her finals and unfortunately it appears to be terminal so she is just waiting in essence which has been having an impact on her work. Yesterday she tried to suture up a fairly simple head wound and just could not do it, in fact she was having difficulty injecting the local into the area and ended up asking me to do it for her. I suggested that another surgical PRHO did it (they need the practice and I've never been a very good seamstress) and we went off to the staff room for a little chat. I told her that we all find things hard at times, and she admitted that she had never really grasped how to suture so together we spent about 1 hour injecting oranges and suturing up banana skins, I have to say I think we are both better off for the practice! I really feel an attachment with the girl, as I know I found my PRHO year tough due to one thing or another but am loathed to take her under my wing too much as present due to all the stuff I've got going on and also I know her mentor/consultant is an ogre and I don't want to be accused of being overly emotionally involved with her.

That's bureaucracy for you these days... you are willing to hold back from helping someone in need for fear of the reprimands, and it's not just colleagues, I know it happens in the ambulance service/A&E too.

Well I'm off to go and do one of my A&E liaison/crash course learning shifts now which should be slightly more thrilling than MAAU.

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