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At work blog



My first shift was a night shift

This is it... my first shift as a doctor. It is 7.30pm and I am about to make my way into work for the dreaded night shift; the shift that all junior doctors wish never to have to start on.

The hospital at night that I had experienced as a student was a quiet and peaceful place, fingers crossed tonight will be the same.

How wrong I was. I should have known, the other new junior doctors handed over to me and understandably had struggled to get everything done that day. After the handover my head was already spinning with everything I had been told — how on earth would I do all of this by morning?

A patient needed clerking in for a major operation the following day so I did that first, one job down and list the length of my arm still to go.

I then join my FY2 on the high dependency unit; the patients on HDU are the sickest patients I have ever seen, there are lines going in and out of patients in every bed, monitors beeping, drains and syringe drivers, monitoring charts all over the unit. I take a few deep breaths as the nurse tells me to review the patient in the first bed, I think to myself, ‘Right. I can do this ... just think A B C and write everything down.’

My bleep is going off every 10 minutes (it is not fun carrying one of these after all) and I’m getting called to various wards for an array of different tasks, each one taking all of my concentration because I don’t want to get anything wrong.

The night was long and got difficult after I hit that ‘4 o’clock wall’ where my body was telling me I really should be asleep but I got through it and with the help of my FY2. The end of the shift came at 8am and I listened to her handover our patients to the day team. It is home time... thank goodness for that.

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