Hurry Up and Wait

27 Oct

In general, being a medical student has a lot to do with standing around, waiting for someone to turn up or something to happen. It’s nothing to do with clinical knowledge and everything to do with having a good pair of shoes. I’ve been fairly lucky so far this year in that I’ve not had to do much standing on a ward like a spare part. I avoided it in my last hospital mostly by being willing to write blood forms, chase blood results, and do as many venflons and ABGs as needed doing.

I had a few grumpy days at the end of last week. I had very little to do, even after asking for jobs, and the days seemed to be passing very slowly and I couldn’t wait to get back to Glasgow. I knew that I had two days left on that ward at the beginning of this week, and I was honestly kind of dreading it.

The corollary to what I said at the beginning is that there’s no such thing as a steady stream of work — it’s either standing around looking useless or being completely snowed under. So, cue Monday, when I learned that the reason I’d not seen anything of my consultant last week was because he was out of the country and that he was determined to make up for having been away for three of my five days on cardiology. We began our week with a seven hour ward round (SEVEN HOURS!), and on Tuesday he asked me to go to day surgery and then to his outpatient clinic. I’ve learned more cardiology in the last two days than I did in the three years before that. I’ve spent the last two nights writing up a portfolio case that was due today and eventually finished at one o’clock this morning. The only way to get out of the hospital at that time of night is through A&E, and I must have looked quite a state as I bobbed and weaved my way through the department.

I much prefer being busy, and if I were given the option would always choose snowed under rather than standing around. Very little gets me down more than a slowly ticking clock — even in my now thankfully ex-job as a public transport information giving person I was always much happier on days when there were strikes or floods or timetable changes or Christmas and the phone never stopped ringing. I’ve been back to being my normal happy self since Monday.

However, my portfolio case is finished and assessed, as of an hour ago, and I’ve got no more deadlines for a few days, so I’ve planned an evening off. Truthfully, I’ve been planning it in my head since I got up yesterday morning and I’m looking forward to my night of tea and toast and crap telly so much that it almost borders on the pathetic, but sometimes it’s the little things.

Now playing: Antonin Dvorak – Symphony No.9 in E Minor

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Posted by on October 27, 2010 in Blog, Medicine



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