Junior Doctors: First Week Diaries (part two)
If you caught the first episode of Junior Doctors last week, you'll know it was a nail-biting introduction to what promises to be a dramatic second series!
We followed Aki as he performed his first ever chest-drain, admitting to his patient that he'd not carried one out before. We hid behind our cushions as Andy failed to insert his first cannula - not once but three times! In his own words, "Yes he cannula! Oh wait, no he can't!" We saw Amieth work tirelessly to try to save a woman in cardiac arrest and felt for Milla as she was called to certify a death on her first shift.
This week is guarenteed to be even better as we meet the next half of the Junior Doctors. Below you can read their first week diary entries to find out how they got on:
The first day on the wards was a real baptism of fire. I was thrown straight in at the deep-end when a nurse called me over because a baby who'd just been operated on looked really sick. It was hard to try and appear calm, whilst panicking inside. I did the basics and then called for the extra support I needed. Thankfully it all worked out ok, but a scary thing to have happen on your first day in a new job!
I find working with kids much more exciting and interesting than working with adults. The other day a kid came in who was so scared of needles that he wouldn't let us anywhere near him. He was shouting and screaming on the ward, his parents were trying to hold him still, the play specialist was trying to distract him - it was a nightmare! Taking blood is so much easier with adults; you can practically throw the needle in from the end of the bed.
The set up at Chelsea hospital is great, I get time each week to practice surgical skills on a simulator, and then get an opportunity to put them into practice for real later in the week. I'm really looking forward to spending more time in theatre over the next few months, but right now though I'm knackered, and will just be glad of the weekend off.
The most difficult part so far is feeling that I know so little; making that mental transition from student to doctor feels surreal and is a steep learning curve. You suddenly expect more from yourself – and so do your patients.
Until now my biggest challenge has been finishing on time. I just can't leave knowing that I could have done more.
I'm definitely glad the first week is over – I've never looked forward to a weekend so much in my life! My advice to any others starting a new job would be to take your time, have a go, and after thinking hard, ask for help when you need it.
That first day in the hospital meant a lot to me; it was the beginning of a big new chapter in my life. My team are lovely and even let me get involved in theatre on my first day which is pretty rare. At the end of the day my registrar said to me, "Good job, you did well today". I felt a real sense of achievement!
I had an embarrassing incident the other day where I had to cannulate somebody late at night so it was quite dark on the wards. The name of the patient was quite ambiguous so I was addressing them as 'sir', but when I got closer I realised it was a woman! The patient was quite drowsy so I don't think they realised.
The worst part about my job is the long hours. I thought living in Chelsea would make it easier to see my friends. Some of them live only 10 minutes away, but after a long day at work I’m just too tired to see them.
One of the hardest things I found in the first week was getting your head around your patients and remembering things such as the different allergies they have.
There was one embarrassing moment on my first day where I had to ask the Radiology department to do a scan. When I got there they grilled me and asked me loads of questions that were difficult to answer. I'd only officially been a doctor for an hour so didn't know much about the patient. It was awful.
During the first week I've started to get to know my colleagues. In the weeks ahead I'm looking forward to getting to know the patients and following them through their journey through hospital.
Junior Doctors: Your Life in Their Hands is on Tuesday 31st January at 9pm