Thursday, 6 October 2016

Weekend Nights

Horrific is one word that springs quite easily to mind.

Imagine a stationary car on top of a hill. A slight breeze gently rocks the car until it starts to edge forward. Slowly at first, then a little bit more quickly, gradually getting faster and faster until its racing down the hill at record breaking speed.  Then you realise you want to slow the car down but the brakes are broken and the handbrakes aren't working and there's no way to stop and you await the God almighty car crash that is going to happen. That's what my weekend was like. Thankfully I crashed into bed and nothing else.

Friday started off steady, I had plenty of breaks but I still had a steady stream of jobs. Some were mundane others a bit more interesting. I think it was on Friday that it dawned on me how much of medicine is learnt on the job.  I was staring at a nasogastric tube on a chest x-ray, trying to determine where the tip was. Things they don't teach you at medical school but end up forming a large part of the job.

I was constantly walking up and down corridors trying to get from ward to ward. Noticing not for the first time how creepy the hospital is after dark. Like this-would-be-a-good-place-for-a-serial-killer-to-hide creepy. It was just my footsteps echoing throughout the long corridor. I can't even see out through the windows. The light just reflects back off them so I only see my lonely reflection walking by.

Up and down the stairs. Up and down the corridor.

Saturday was busier.

And Sunday was just Armageddon.

I didn’t stop until 7 am.

I was constantly being bleeped. I tried to prioritise and to work quickly but some things can't be rushed.  I always had around 7 to 9 jobs waiting for me. I saw patients who were dying and I had to weigh up active investigations with allowing them  to be comfortable in what could be their last few days. I struggled many times with my hands just above the phone to call my senior for help. She's probably very busy. Will she think I'm stupid? I spent a lot of my time on Google hoping it would be able to help me out.

And as dawn turned into daylight and the hospital finally started to wake up, I relaxed a little. It was Monday morning. Doctors would be returning to their wards and their patients and I could slowly breathe easy again.

I had made it.

On the plus side there were no crash calls.

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