This week was a tough week. I was going to have a bad one sooner or later. Nonetheless I felt **** throughout. I was having a string of bad luck, just one after the other.
1. One very demanding patient. He'd just been given a diagnosis and the way he saw it, things weren't moving as quickly as they should be. He was frustrated and so were his family. He had lots of questions and who did he have to answer them, me. And I didn't know the answers. All of his anguish and confusion came straight at me so by the end I felt embarrassed and frustrated. I wasn't the best person to deal with that situation, especially a few weeks into my first rotation, but I did it anyway. (The condition had nothing to do with my current rotation). When I called the consultant to have a word with the family, he more or less refused. I felt like I had been landed in it and left to deal with the disaster on my own.
2. I had a bad on call shift. Bad in a way that made it very obvious to me and to everyone else that I didn't know what I was doing. I made some mistakes and I felt embarrassed by them. I know, I'm the F1 and I'm still learning but I want to get to the point where I feel competent and it's not blatantly obvious to everyone that I'm fresh out of medical school.
3. The jobs on the ward were piling up and then a sick patient just tipped the balance into chaos. Obviously, that can't be avoided. If there's a sick patient then that needs to be dealt with. It's the general ward work that spills over when that happens that's annoying. My ward has a lot of people going and coming and being transferred to other hospitals which means a whole load of accompanying paperwork has to be done. In my head I've got this debate going. Do I stay till 7 when I should finish at 5 to finish off the jobs or do I do the necessary jobs that need to be done and then leave it till the next day. As crude as it sounds I'm not getting paid for those extra hours. I already give a huge proportion of my time and effort into my work, is it fair on me to have it spill on to my personal time. I don't think it is, if it means doing this every day. But the credit I got from the consultant (different one) the next day made it almost worth it. I think I must be a sucker for attention. Some of the other F1s argue that me overstaying gives the idea that the ward is appropriately staffed. And I think it is, when all the junior doctors are on. When there's only two doctors on, then it becomes difficult, you just about get it together but anything can easily tip you off the edge.