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At work blog



Beginning to feel a little more useful

Two down and one to go... I’ve got a feeling tonight is going to be another busy one.

The postoperative patients take up most of our night, but already – after two days – I am beginning to feel a little more useful. I am learning fast, because I have to.

I struggle for about half an hour to get IV access into a patient who has little or no veins left to use, but somehow I do it. I manage to order a portable chest X-ray successfully, and most of my jobs are going to plan.

Unlike the night before, when everything happened at once, tonight seems to be more of a steady flow of jobs.

At 6am, just when things start to get a little more hectic and I have about four different sets of bloods to do at the same time, the nurse bleeps me to say that the patient I had tried so hard to get IV access earlier in the night has pulled out his cannula. That is just great.

There is no way I will be able to manage that again and do all of these bloods by myself, so I call the night nurse practitioner, who comes to my rescue and saves the day. I am so relieved to see him when he arrives on the ward.

After three very long nights I am emotionally drained, mentally and physically exhausted, and cannot wait to get into my bed.

And so begins the rest of my year as a foundation doctor 1. If my first three shifts are any sort of indicator of what the rest of it will be like, it is going to be a massive challenge, but I have to remind myself that all the consultants that we look up to had their first shifts as junior doctors once too. I think I’ll get there in the end.

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