Back in October I started a new career trajectory in healthcare by accepting a position at a major trauma centre based here in the UK. My main care experience revolved around my late Father, anything further than that was purely driven through my own desire to help and assist where I possibly could as I looked to my future in Diagnostic Radiography. To say the last few weeks has been a learning curve is perhaps an understatement, it has opened my eyes to many things and yet I feel there is no place I would rather be at this present moment.
The best way to put it is perhaps a duckling, carefully following the mother in front so as not to sway off the beaten track and get completely lost in a world that is far superior than where I am. Thankfully my fellow colleagues have been not only welcoming, but superb in ensuring I learn quickly to adapt to the constant demands that this environment can bring. One minute you may be spinning on a chair reading the Fire Manual for the umpteenth time in what may feel like a monotonous period, another and you’re clinging onto a dazzling array of beeping machinery as a patients life hangs in the hands of the various Trauma team that surround them. Their calm and composed demeanour is not only something I feel far inferior to, but is hopefully something I can aspire to become in such a challenging and terrifying habitat.
Where I do feel comfortable and somewhat confident is with patient interaction. It may be that I’m new to the position but it is a feeling I hope never to lose, it disappoints me greatly to see those who are well versed to patient care and therefore lose the ability to heal in a simple smile or the touch of a hand. Of course, at the moment I am very much bottom of the food chain and therefore have the time to interact and to ease anxiety, but it is a trait I hope to cherish long into my career of medicine and healthcare and to never take for granted.
Already I am beginning to see the building blocks of how a hospital works alongside the politics and decisions that encompass how successfully it motors along. Of course nothing can ever run smoothly, and nothing is being more scrutinised than the current state of our National Health Service and all that it comes in contact with. It is not plain sailing but what is admirable is how the team go above and beyond to ensure that patient safety is priority, all levels of staff and management find ways in which to improve even to the detriment of their own personal situation or schedule.
Being a newbie means there are road blocks and anxiety inducing interactions that could easily drive someone to walk away. When you are well versed into a position it can be frustrating to have someone around who is totally clueless, but there are some who have been patient and welcoming to ensure that any minor blips are dealt with or brushed off. My own ability to let the criticisms go has surprised me but I feel it is all in a bigger picture to make me more defiant in continuing my career in this specialism. It is a determination that I am embracing with open arms.
I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to the 5am wake up calls but I do enjoy the calm and the quiet, and I enjoy the smile of a patient who I hope I have helped even in some small way on their visit to the Hospital. My future feels bright, it feels positive and I feel a passion that has never been stoked so lightly as it has been now. 2019 will be good, and I will make it so. Hopefully you can all join me in toasting this year gone by, and welcoming a new blank page for us all to dive into. Have a wonderful Christmas and a very lovely New Year celebration!