Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Time for me to be slept out

Apologies for the gap in posts - have spent more time reading other bloggers' words of wisdom recently.

Cracking on with the new job in cardiology. Going well so far - the consultant is very good and VERY demanding but so far we are keeping the ship afloat. I have moved up the food chain and now have a junior (house officer) working under me which is great - nice to be able to offload some of the bullshit paperwork/phone calls and get on with clinical work and making people feel better (like the good old days, apparently).

Yesterday I nearly got in to an argument with the "Bed Manager" - i.e. the person who is responsible for moving patients around the hospital so that we end up with cardiology patients on surgical wards and people with brain tumours on cardiology wards and so on. What a shitty stressful job that must be. The person in question in my hospital is notorious for making nurses cry by threatening them with disciplinary action if they don't expedite the "sleeping out" of patients from one ward (i.e. the ward that they are admitted to because it is the best place for them to be treated) to another less suitable ward, simply to make room for more people to come in. An example; a patient comes in with alcoholic liver disease, and is admitted under the care of the liver specialists. Sounds good - it is. They are treated on the liver ward, nursed by nurses trained in dealing with liver problems, and treated by doctors who know a lot about liver problems. But as soon as the patient is at the point where they are more likely to survive than not, the "Bed Manager" (not the doctors) decides that the patient is safe to "sleep out" to any other ward in the hospital i.e. orthopaedic/geriatrics/surgical wherever there is a spare bed. So when that patient becomes ill (as patients tend to do), the nurses who are experts at dealing with fractures/strokes/colostomies have a hard time managing the specialist liver disease and the patient does not receive optimal treatment. The icing on the cake in my hospital is that the patient is now being looked after by a completely new set of doctors who have a lack of specialist knowledge of the disease in question. Suboptimal all round. Of course the patient is not told any of this, and they naturally assume that they are receiving the best treatment possible in the NHS.

On a more positive note, I passed the exam last month - not as jubilant as I would be as two close friends didn't quite make it this time. They'll pass next time, but it would have been nice to party together. It's difficult balancing a demanding job with demanding revision.
Next exam is already looming, but I think I will be taking a break from all that crap for a while and just enjoying some novels and films. Got tickets for Jack Johnson next month which I'm really looking forward to. Reading a very good book called "The Pig that wants to be eaten". Check it out if you get a chance.


angel, jr. said...

Congrats on passing the exam!

The Venial Sinner said...

Yes, congratulations. And nice to have you back. Right, I'm going to get slaughtered before my weekend on starts and I'm confined to the hospital.

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