Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Job Roulette

I opened my email, my heart sank.  Right area, wrong jobs.  Massive disappointment.  Heartbreak.  The only job I've ever wanted, and I'll have to wait a bit longer.

She opened her email, her heart sang.  Right jobs, commutable...rubbish the car is hire purchase with limited miles...her first thoughts, 'how will I afford it'.

Our jobs for the next year have all hinged on a few things, the first a 'portfolio' of various bits and pieces.  Evidence of learning, of partaking in the job, of partaking in medical education.  These portfolios were ranked, points given for each part, for how good the consultant thought you were.  Frustratingly these were very subjective.  The best doctor may or may not get the best score, likewise for the least impressive doctor.

You'd like to think that your GP or hospital doctor, irrespective of their experience, worked in that part of medicine because they wanted to, because they were passionate; but in the world of junior doctors this isn't true.  Jobs are grouped into threes, four months in each.  Each 'rotation' has something you may want to do, and something you may not.  Hopefully there's more that you are interested in, than you're not interested in.  Each rotation has space for three doctors.

Ranking of jobs is done by what you do or don't want to do. thanks.  General practice...yes please.

Ranked doctors and ranked jobs are then put into a computer, I can only imagine, and the top three ranked doctor gets their top ranked jobs.  The rest may or may not depending on how the doctors with better scores, ranked the rotations.

It appears that my portfolio just wasn't good enough.  My only saving grace was Little Miss.  She afforded me a 'get out of jail free pass'.  I didn't get a single job that I'd ranked, I got another, but one that is within my local area, because of 'special circumstances'.

Those special circumsances are ironic.  They've given me a job where I'll work 1 weekend in 2 for four months.  Where my shifts will be a constantly changing pattern.  Where Little Miss won't have a clue whether mummy will be at home at bedtime, or breakfast time, or any other time.  Those special circumstances will turn Little Miss's world upside down.  That is the true heartbreak.

I'm trying to think of the positives.  1/3 of the year will be quiet, there's the potential for audits, to boost my future applications.  1/3 of the year will be brilliant for my confidence.  All of the year will be with patient contact, there's no microbiology or public health for me!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

New Baby Presents

I've been lulling over what to buy several new babies who are on the horizon, to other mummies.  It's brought me back to presents that we were given when Little Miss was born.

Now Little Miss was *just* 4lb when she was born, and surprised most people by being 6 weeks early.  Prematurity isn't something that most of the people we know, have much experience in (save for my medic mummy friends, who all seemed to have problematic pregnancies!).

I remember being so disappointed that many people bought Little Miss newborn, and 0-3 sized clothing.  She didn't fit in most of these clothing until 6 months old.  In fact some of the clothing she was kindly given she didn't fit into until she was a year old!  (However, they were lovely once they did fit Little Miss, and she wore summer clothing all through the winter with tights, vests and cardigans!).

There were some notable gifts which where given with the utmost thought

  • My first primary school teacher bought Little Miss a Hungry Caterpillar cup, bowl, plate, spoon, fork and knife set.  At the time it seemed bizarre, for such a tiny baby.  Now it seems the most sensible present, and is very much loved.  It has been used at various weddings for Little Miss to eat from, as it's such a nice set.

  • A very good friend from University made us a hamper.  He sent gifts for Little Miss, clothes which fitted her a year later; sweets, chocolates, fruit tea and treats for me (and daddy).  The thought which went into this was greatly appreciated.
  • My sister cooked homemade shortbread, perfect for a SCBU mummy on the go.  A taste of home.
  • My Nana's church crocheted Little Miss a blanket.  I love handmade bits, and this is used frequently.
  • My MIL bought Little Miss a fleece blanket from Primark.  It cost very little, but was so soft.  And everytime it becomes too old, and not soft enough, I run out and buy another!
  • My mother knitted, like her life depended on it, and soon enough Little Miss had a whole wardrobe which fit her, and was in lovely colours.
I've been trying to add to this list of great presents and have come up with

  • A childs china cup.  We had these as children, they'd be good as Christening presents too.  Ones with Peter Rabbit, or Thomas the Tank Engine on.
  • A homemade 'taggie'.  A small square blanket with ribbon 'tags' on it.
  • Home knitting, there are lovely patterns for knitting hats and blankets amongst other items.
  • Soft leather shoes like these ones

How about you?  What was your favoured items you were given?  What would you like to have been given?

Friday, 13 April 2012

Health and Safety

In the short time I've worked at the NHS I've nearly slipped over twice.  Both accidents.  Both incidents treated in completely different ways by my colleagues.

As a doctor, I don't have a clue where wards keep their cleaning equipment.  Maybe I should, but I don't.  Or who to contact if there are spills on the floor.

As a employee to the NHS, it is just as much my job to ensure that there are no health and safety problems for the patients, their visitors and my colleagues.

The first time I slipped, I was attending to a very sick patient.  His catheter bag had left urine on the floor.  I saved myself on the end of his bed, pulling my wrist.  I didn't have time for sorting me out, it was the middle of the night shift.  I duely let the staff know there was a hazard on that size of the bed, and asked someone to grab something to make it less slippy.  I think some sheets arrived, to give more 'grip' to the floor and soak some up.

The second time I slipped, I was was also attending to a sick patient.  But this time it wasn't an emergency.  Again I saved myself by grabbing the end of his bed, again I pulled my wrist (the same one), and also my shoulder this time.  I immediately found a nurse to ask where I could organise getting it mopped up appropriately.  She refused to stop her drug round, or give me information on who to contact, or where I could find equipment.  She would sort it 'later'.  I found some paper towels, and gloves and mopped it up.  There was no concern for my health.

Many of our patients are elderly, infirm; their visitors too.  I honestly believe that it's our duty to protect them.  For me, a slip meant slightly pulled ligaments.  For the elderly this could mean a fractured hip.  It is up to all of us within the NHS, as well as the visiting public, to ensure that health and safety hazards are sorted in a timely manner.  In this fashion, I will continue donning my gloves and grabbing paper towels, where others seem reluctant to help.  I will continue picking up the small bits of litter which clutter our corridors and stairs.  And, I will continue to look out for the health of everyone, who may use our hospitals, whatever their reasons.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

A new trick on an old phone

I recently rediscovered that my phone had the internet on it.  I'd known this all along, but some 4 years ago when I got this phone I remember the internet being expensive.  I was a student.  I couldn't afford this technology, this luxury.

This past two years I've had free internet service on my contract.  It was only a very short time ago that I thought about this, that talking about how appalling my mothers phone is for 'surfing the net', and then I phone could do this.

With very little battery I checked if there was a local Dunelm Mill, and found instructions as to how to get there on google.  I 'facebooked' about my little discovery, and checked later for updates.

I then tried to find 'apps' which may work on my phone.  I was horrified that in this day and age of computers, phones and apps, that I'd have to pay at least £1 and up to £5 for a simple game, or other app.

So for now, my phone will remain a phone, a messaging tool, a camera.  And I will be continuing to search for my next phone.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Goodbye to the old, hello to the new

Prior to being a medic I worked in the Temping world.  I loved going into a company, working for a couple of days, then moving onto the next.  I thrived on learning the ropes quickly, on taking on responsibility quickly whilst taking the place of someone away from their job through sickness or holiday.

As a junior doctor these skills are back in use.  I work in 4 monthly rotations.  Each four months there are new colleagues, new nursing staff, a new patient load, a new system covered.  The basics of medicine are the same, the basics of the job are the same (get the patient back out of the door in at least as good, if not better condition than they were previously), but the nitty gritty changes.

The hospital I work in is ward based.  I used to work on Ward B.  The nurses were brilliant.  Some real characters.  I learnt from them.  We worked as a true team.  They were my back up, without a doubt.  They had a real knack for bringing the important to your attention.

My new ward, A, just seems different.  Well it is, the set up isn't the same.  The nursing staff don't seem confident, whether that's in our abilities or in theirs I've not worked out yet.  They ask for simple information multiple times.  They don't check in the notes to find answers prior to asking us.

My background of Temping means that I love new starts.  My love of my old ward means I'm not sure about this change.  I love being in a larger team, but this doesn't completely offset the fact that nursing staff run the wards, and can sometimes be the medical teams biggest resource.  Either way I'm sure I'll find reasons to start loving my new ward, nurses and job....I'm sure we always do.


Little Miss has a new word.  She learnt it on her holidays.  'Arry'.

Harry was a little boy two months older than herself.  She loved him.

Little Miss's understanding of the world is lovely to see.  Harry was found by the toddler pool during the day.  She'd run to the pool to find him.  They'd sail their bath toys across the cold paddling pool, she'd dabble her hands in...he'd wade in.  They'd argue over a pink dolphin, or a blue duck.  But they were happy as Larry together.

After dinner one night we walked back to the hotel bar via the pool areas.  Once down at the level of the toddler pool she ran as fast as her legs could carry her, shouting 'Arry, 'Arry, 'Arry'.  In Little Miss's world the only place Harry could be found was by the pool.  It didn't matter that she'd also spent time with him at the entertainment.  Harry should be at the pool!  He wasn't.  She was distraught.

Harry left hours before us, but in the middle of the night.  Little Miss searched for him.  She wasn't distractable. Over the past two weeks it seems she still hasn't forgotten him.  We got into the car on Friday, and she suddenly became all excited that we were going to see 'Arry, 'Arry, 'Arry'.  I had to let her down gently that we were going to see Granny instead!


'Can you say purple'
'Can you say apple'
'Can you say orange'

And so goes a telephone conversation in our house at the minute.  Little Miss has started to learn words, and her aunty loves it!  This conversation is repeated time and time again.

Little Miss has traditionally refused to show any new skill without perfecting it, without our knowledge, first.  She didn't crawl until she went the whole way across the room.  She first walked 8 steps in a row, dipped down to the floor and then walked away again.  So, starting with one or two words surprised me a little.  I'd just assumed she'd be one of those 'strange' children who started talking in full sentences.

Instead, in one walk home from nursery she had three new words: purple, white and yellow.  The colours of the flowers we were admiring.

Now all she needs is to learn some words which may help in everyday life:
This weekend we weren't at home.  Little Miss started attacking the kitchen cupboards, looking for something. Did she want an apple, no.  Did she want an orange, no.  Did she want a banana, no.  Well what on earth did she want?  Finally it hit.  She wanted a drink.  She's said 'dink' before, but as per usual a hard won word had disappeared.  She downed a full glass of milk in one...and then was happy.  Serves me right for having her cups in a low position so that she could easily bring us a cup, to show she's thirsty, and that option not being available as a communication tool when she needed it else where.