Thursday, 31 July 2008

And so it begins...

**Ring Ring **Ring Ring **Ring Ring **Ring Ring

- Hello, Occupational Health - Margaret speaking
- Good afternoon Margaret, my name is Michael, I’m one of the doctors due to start work at your hospital next week.
- Hello Michael, how can I help you?
- I received a letter from you asking me to call you. Something about missing information
- O.K., let me check my records can I have your full name and date of birth please?

I hear the tap-tap-tap of fingers on a computer keyboard and I try to visualise what Margaret looks like. In my head, I see a shortish woman in her late fifties with short, curly brown hair that is flecked with grey and a pair of large rimmed glasses that hang around her neck on a piece of string.

- Right, I’ve found you Dr Michael Anderson.
- That’s me
- Yes, I see what the problem is. We need some evidence that you are immune to T.B.

At one point I had a letter from an occupational health nurse confirming my TB immunity, but to be honest I have no idea where that letter is anymore. Probably among the many treeloads of paper that I’ve accumulated from “Induction Days” at previous hospitals

- I don’t think I’ve actually got any documents that say that
- I’m sorry doctor, but I can’t issue you with a “Fit to Practice” certificate unless I have some evidence that you are immune and you won’t be able to work without one.

My heart sinks a little at the thought of having to rifle through all the crap that’s currently in the “I Need To Sort All This Stuff Out At Some Point” box(es) under my bed. But then a thought hits me.

- I have a B.C.G. scar, I pipe up. - Is that evidence enough?
- Yes, that would be good enough, but obviously neither I nor any of my staff have seen your scar. Do you think you’d be able to pop in and show us?
- I live in NewCity! I can’t “pop in” because it’s about a two-hour round trip to your hospital. I do actually have an afternoon off this week but I don’t particularly want to spend it coming to show you my arm. Can’t I just come to the department to show you on Induction Day?
- Well, I suppose you could, depending on how many people we have to see that day, there may be a delay in issuing you with your certificate. You might have to wait a day or so.

I’ve already spoken to the anaesthetics office and it doesn’t look like I’ll be doing much actual clinical work in the first couple of days of the new job, so waiting a couple of days for occupational health clearance is unlikely to be a huge problem.

- O.K., well that’s fine with me. I’ll come in on induction day, and hopefully we can get it sorted then.
- Well, we shall see you then Dr Anderson
- Thank you. Bye for now
- Goodbye


I hate Induction Day and it seems this time round, it’s starting even earlier than normal.


Jo said...

Good Luck! (At least you have a scar to show them - I had my BCG a year earlier than normal due to a TB scare at my school - I then moved schools, and spent a good long time with the school nurse trying to find my scar - there is a white dot on my arm about two skin cells wide!)

Elaine said...

I could show you my smallpox vaccination scar! It is about an inch in diameter.

AdamF said...

Induction day is so...irritating.
You'd have thought that with Occy Health Smartcards it would be simple, but we STILL need to do all this paperwork...