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Diary of an FY2 – SHO Time

August 30, 2015

It has been a long month. Why did no one tell me that being an SHO was so hard?

This is how I feel right now.

This is how I feel right now.

Recently, I was working on-call. The FY1 had just clerked a patient and the Med Reg asked me to review the patient. Last month, other doctors were checking over my clerked patients – Now, mine was the valued second opinion. It’s still a disorientating gear-shift. I broadly agreed with the FY1’s conclusions, and then I supervised them inserting a cannula. That seems to take an age, as the FY1 ponderously checked and double-checked everything. I know I was similarly thorough when I was still taking my first steps as a doctor – What a difference a year makes!

How far will I have gone in another year’s time, I wonder?

Ward rounds are hard work. As an FY1, writing fast and legibly, and developing a wider carrying angle, were my main concerns. The real doctors would talk to the patients, examine them as necessary and declare all the jobs that needed doing for them. My job was one of logistics, steering them towards the right patients, producing drug charts on demand and rattling off blood test results as necessary. Now I am the real doctor with an FY1 to transcribe my thoughts, the ward round has become a feat of both physical and mental endurance. Is this patient sick? Sicker than when they came in? Sick in a different way? What have we done? What do we still have to do? Do we need a tablet, an infusion, an X-Ray, physiotherapy? All of the above? It is exhausting.

I recall working on-call on the weekend (#ImInWorkJeremy – See, I can use hashtags too) some time back in the Spring. Halfway through the post-take ward round, my consultant admitted she needed to sit down and drink her coffee. She explained how strenuous ward-rounding could be. I sympathised but it’s only since I’ve become an SHO that I can truly relate.

I haven’t had many on-call shifts yet but I’m interested to see how they will change to match my new evolved state. I imagine being called to dose fewer warfarins and insert fewer cannulae but being bleeped a lot more about, y’know, sick patients. I will relish the chance to stretch my doctor-y muscles but I am concerned that there’s no SHO to call on now. Just the registrar. And the consultant. And the ITU outreach team.

What I’m trying to say is that August has been a hard month. This mantle still feels too big for me and it’s difficult to cope with with all this new responsbility…

Then other day, one of my registrars took me aside and said, “You’re doing really well. It’s a big step up from being an FY1 and its hard but you’re doing really well.” It took me a while to realise he wasn’t talking in general terms but was talking about me specifically. It was even longer until I realised the full impact of what he had said – He had been paying enough attention to me to get the measure of me, had witnessed me grow, and had decided to share that with me. It was quite a humbling thought for me. It is also revitalising to know that I haven’t been alone during this.

August has been hard, but I just might be making progress.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Denise permalink
    August 31, 2015 8:23 am

    Luv it! Just luv it !!!!

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  1. Diary of an FY2 – The First Cut is the Deepest | Quinnfeld

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