Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Sleeping is Cheating

My time working in Intensive Care is drawing to an end. I’ve been working here for three months now and I have only one more shift to go. It’s been really hard work and at times really stressful and emotional, but I think I’ve got a lot out of my placement here. I’ve learned loads of stuff and I think that when it comes to procedures such as central lines, I’ve gone from being “competent” at them to being “good” at them. I think the best thing I've got out of this placement is that I have now answered the question of whether or not I want to be an Intensive Care Physician as a consultant.

As I sit here typing, I think of a weekend I spent with friends earlier in the summer. One of my best friends had his stag do up in Newcastle and we all went up there for a rather debaucherous couple of nights of drinking far too much and abusing the stag. We had several rules to observe on said weekend and one of them was “Sleeping Is Cheating.” This meant that nobody was allowed to sleep during daylight hours and anyone caught doing so was suitably punished.
The reason I’m telling you about this is not because I particularly want to share what a group of mates got up to in a Northern city but that tonight I face a similar situation.

I start work tonight at 8pm in one hospital in one city. I finish my shift at 9am tomorrow morning. However, tomorrow morning at 8am I am expected to start work in my new hospital in a totally different town and work through to 5pm there.

How can this be fair? I’m pretty good at some things but my talents don’t extend to being in two places at the same time. I called my new hospital and was told that I absolutely could NOT have the day off to sleep, and that I MUST come to work as they are all expecting me. They are VERY DISAPPOINTED that I won’t be there at 8am and I should MAKE EVERY EFFORT to get to the hospital as soon as I possibly can.

So, it looks like I won’t be sleeping for a while, but then again, sleeping is cheating isn’t it?


Anonymous said...

You had a helpful co-ordinator person when you were planning to move, didn't you? Worth telling her (was it a her?) that the people co-ordinating the changes in rotation need to learn to find their arses with both hands. This really isn't something that should be happening, surely? Presumably you have an official date for the change of rotation, so there should be some sort of system which by default prevents the hospital you're leaving from scheduling you a night shift which, after all, runs into the day on which you are due to start in your new place!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, same anon as above, meant to put in there "won't help you, but worth doing for the people they try to mess around next time".

Anonymous said...

Been in that situation before as well mate. The hospitals were 130 miles apart.

GrumpyRN said...

Nice to know that the EWTD is working! This kind of nonsense should have been stopped long ago, good luck

brokenangel said...

Surelly that illegal and is out right dangerous to not only you driving over there but also the patients. Red Bull forward

Jo said...

That is absolutely ridiculous! How can they expect you to stay safe whilst travelling between hospitals, let alone whilst looking after patients? Do the people in administration have a common sense bypass when they get their jobs?

Anonymous said...

Did they explain how you were meant to be in two places at once? Or just expect it.

Anonymous said...

I know how you feel. As a community midwife when I am on call I work from 08.30 through to 17.00 the next day. 32.5 hours. What a system.

Anonymous said...

hey I was just wondering as someone who is about to go into medical school, what is the working pattern for junior doctors..Do your work shifts, from what time to what time..what are the on-call hours?
Can be on-call while on a shift?
Apparently, Junior docs are not supposed to be working more than 48hrs..is this the case for you?


Anonymous said...

Know plenty of medics in similar situations. Ridiculous demands still happening on a regular basis. They are all being totally worked into the ground.

Anonymous said...

meanwhile nurse quacktitioners get all the training opportunities and work 9.30am-4.30 monday to friday! genius :S

GrumpyRN said...

Anonymous 21st November,

3 things wrong with your comment;

1) You are 2 weeks late, keep up son.

2) Personal abuse? Nurse quacktitioner, oh what a giggle. C'mon the post was not about nurses in any way shape or form.

3) Wrong information, I as a Nurse "quacktitioner" work 12 hour shifts including weekends and nights. Oh and as you are probably well aware, once the junior doctor stops his training posts he will stop having to move around the country - stability comes with having a permanent contract.

So if you are going to make comments at least have the courage to put a name (even if like mine it is made up) to it so we can follow your comments. On second thoughts, if you are going to get it so wrong perhaps you should remain anonymous to spare your blushes.

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