Saturday, 28 April 2007

Springtime brings new leaves more ways than one!

I've had a good day today. I've been really lazy and eaten some rubbish, but not an inordinate amount, and I think that with the apple I will eat before I go to bed I have achieved my 5-a-day and I am feeling a lot better than I did yesterday.

I should explain that.

This week has been a bit weird and at times a bit stressful. Firstly, the change of ward has thrown everyone off and means that requests go to the wrong place, porters come to the wrong wards, and to top it off the pod system for the bloods hasn't been working that well so whenever porters are called to pick up bloods they come to the wrong place! Annoying. But because our previously 24-bed ward has now been reduced to 6 beds plus a few boarders, which makes for a lot of boredom.

This week the solution to the boredom seemed to be to gossip lots. Basically our (terrifying for several reasons) registrar came to hang out in the doctors' room and initiated a really graphic gossip session which removed any shred of naivety I had retained through uni, and I really didn't want to get involved. I have this thing where if I do or say something mean, it plagues me for days/weeks/months/sometimes even years afterwards, and the day before Crazy Gossip Session I had said something mean about one of the 4th years who has been skiving a lot - it was totally unnecessary and I didn't really mean it, but it meant that I didn't sleep too well for thinking about what a bitch I was. So I really just didn't want to get involved in this gossip, but couldn't really escape because Terrifying Registrar was present and there weren't any jobs I could go and do.

This particular gossip session served to inform me that in this hospital, in which I have worked/studied for the last six years, it turns out that everyone is shagging in every available cupboard/oncall room/sideroom and, apparently, I have been oblivious to it all. I learned (reluctantly) about the MDT Challenge (in which, in order to complete the challenge, one must sleep with a member of each discipline in the team), the Med School Challenge (in which one must sleep with a student from each year), and I learned about the nurse on one of the wards who has slept with nearly all of the doctors in Terrifying Registrar's year, and who believes that one of them will fall in love with her, cries in the cupboard when they treat her badly, and is totally ignorant of the fact that they are in fact asking each other, 'have you slept with that nurse yet? You really should...'

This totally APPALLED me. For a start, SURELY people don't really do these challenges. Oh no, I am assured, they do. And SURELY people don't take sex this lightly, and think it's ok to abuse this poor nurse who mistakenly believes that the doctors are after more than a quick shag in the oncall room. But yes, it would seem that this is the thing to do.

This gossip session went on for nearly an hour and a half, in which nobody was safe, and all secrets were revealed. Then, unbelievably, just as I was going to escape for lunch, Terrifying Registrar says, 'How about a quick game of Consequences before lunch?'

I couldn't believe it! How old are we?! There was no way I was going along with this, so I sneaked off to check some results, and was then stuck in the corner while the game finished.

I just found this whole thing so depressing - to find out that this 'caring' profession sometimes cares for patients (when not moaning about how annoying they are - we are all guilty of this, me included) but seems not to give a rat's ass about fellow colleagues. I just couldn't believe the total lack of respect that people seemed to show for each other.

Now, I'm not so naive as to think that these stories haven't been well embellished by time and rumour, but there's no smoke without fire.

So was pretty shocked by all that.

The other solution to the boredom, for me, was to work lates on the Acute Admissions ward. This was fun for a bit, but after I worked 14 hours on thursday, saw the F1s get their paychecks and realised that not only was I not learning a lot on these long days but I was also not getting a penny, I decided that enough was enough.

I woke up on friday planning to do the late again and go in about 1pm to stay till 9pm, but actually my flatmate asked my why I looked so gloomy and I cried (which was embarassing) and poured out my tale of gossip-ridden, boring-days-and-busy-evenings, not-getting-my-portfolio-work-done tale, and she told me off and said I should stay home and do my portfolio stuff and not do any F1 jobs for which I am not getting paid because it's not my job. So, ever-so-slightly guilt-ridden, I stayed home, and tried to do some non-medical things, regain some sanity, and try to get rid of the disillusionment of working life in the hospital.

So, today, I feel good - I ate lots of fruit, baked some cookies (non-medical activity of the day - this is a good aim I think, to do something non-medical every day and stop getting into bad geek habits), read a good book and have done some blogging (both reading and writing, as you can see).

New Leaf for this week: Tip the work-life-balance a little towards the latter.

Apologies for the lengthy post, I hope you are still awake! I'm going to take my little self off to eat some raspberries. They are good for the soul. And you can stick them on your fingers a la Amelie and giggle at your own absurdity for a while, which is always theraputic.

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