Tuesday, 22 December 2009

I’m not dreaming of a white Christmas.

At the end October, all the junior anaesthetists in my hospital were given the on-call rota for November to February. The first thing we all looked at was who had to work Christmas and who had to work New Year’s Eve.

This year, I’m lucky enough not to be working Christmas Day and I’m really happy about that. Spending Christmas Day in hospital on-call must be one of the most miserable and depressing experiences known.

Christmas Eve, however is a normal working day in my hospital and I have the misfortune to be doing a theatre list that’s notorious for running over time. (Was I na├»ve in thinking that in this brave new world of “patient choice,” that patients would “choose” not to have their elective major surgery on Christmas Eve and would choose to have it in the new year instead. Apparently so). I envisage that I’ll leave work at about 7pm on Christmas Eve and my plan is to drive the couple of hundred or so miles to my parent’s home after work that day. With a bit of luck, I’ll get there just in time to hear the bells ring out for Christmas Day.

However, hearing about all the travel dramas because of the weather has me quite worried. I’m just praying that the icy freeze that’s currently enveloping the country has loosened its grip by then because otherwise there’s the distinct possibility I could be spending Christmas stuck at work or worse, stranded in some motorway service station.

My Christmas “holiday” is short lived though, I’ve got to brave the roads again on Sunday evening for my on-call shift on Monday and then it’s back to work for business as usual for the elective operations on Tuesday.

I’m not the only one who has to do this; Dr. Grumble is also rather miffed by the situation.

I know there’ll be people reading this who’ll be thinking “junior doctors these days don’t know they’re born. They only work 48hr weeks whereas when I was a lad we worked 128hr weeks etc… etc… etc…”

But, as Dr Grumble also points out, working in hospital over Christmas used to be fun. Believe me, it really no fun being on call for intensive care over the holiday period. I think this Christmas, I’ll be mostly knackered.

But at least I’m not working Christmas Day his year.


BenefitScroungingScum said...

The last thing I want to do 2 days before Xmas is battle the weather to get to a hospital appt, needs must though! I guess if it's a serious op then patients just want it done, and don't really care when.
Hope the weather eases off and you make it safely home for a restful couple of days. If not, book me in for an ITU bed please ;)
Bendy Girl

Dragonfly said...

Drive safely. Hope you have a restful Christmas day after you arrive.

brokenangel said...

Drive safe and merry xmas

Emr said...

Its a great work . Great christmas.

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nursing school said...

Last Christmas it was very cold .. its colder than last couple of years