Wednesday, 22 September 2010
Sounds like the perfect horror story, so why do I like it so much? Absolutely no paperwork! By paperwork I don't mean writing in the notes, because that's part and parcel of looking after patients. By paperwork I mean reams of blood cards, piles of radiology requests and meticulous list-keeping. The whole night is entirely about patient care or interacting with patients.
I had a lovely moment with a young-ish gentleman with learning difficulties. He was getting very upset as he had been noisy and the clinical support worker had threatened to call security. I think what she failed to realise is that just because he has learning difficulties, it does not mean he wouldn't get upset at being threatened by security. I sat down with him (on his bed I'll add, with him sitting beside me - sorry infection control, but I will never listen to your complaints about sitting on patients' beds. There's not a jot of evidence and patients much prefer it in my experience. Allegedly there's a paper that says that patients overestimate how long doctors spend with them when they sit on the bed, but that's a whole different story...). We had a very slow conversation; it took him about 15 seconds to formulate a response. He said, in his own way, that he was upset that he had been threatened by security, he was knackered and just wanted to go to sleep now. So I helped him into bed, tucked him in and wished him good night. He was asleep five minutes later.
I'd never get to do this during the day - there's just too much going on, but on nights, you can occasionally snatch a few golden moments like this. And although being thrown into clinical situations can scare you, the whole experience is exhilarating when you get it right, and there is always a reg to offer advice down the phone when you need it, for the times when you're not sure what to do.
That and the fact it's only a four day week. Man, I love nights. And I think it's time to go to bed. Night folks!
(On a side note, Dr Jr was just scared out of his mind when he heard some banging on his first floor windows, only to see a giant brush cleaning them...)