Snapshots

Sitting in the introductory lectures. A score of uneasy barely-doctors listening to the layout of the morning, the week, the year, trying (failing) to take it all in. Everyone is wearing name badges because there are too many new faces hidden amongst too much new information to keep abreast of, it is coming thick and fast, and outside the sun is shining and it’s hot hot hot in the seminar room and in no time I know I will be running down the corridor, the crash bleep’s measured tones repeating  ‘Code blue in A&E resus arriving in 3 minutes, crash team prep please’  and people scrambling out of the way in the corridors and I’m thinking thank you for being in resus, there will be doctors everywhere and I’m unlikely to be needed for anything but there’s still that nervous ball in my gut and I’d much rather have joy in the form of a cheering crowd of nurses, patients, relatives and me crowded around a single bed in the cardiology ward, watching Andy Murray win his gold medal in a dominant performance; the Sister is a Scot and is almost overcome and it’s such a lovely image, so many people all united in a single moment and outside the view is glorious and the sky is obsidian black when I get out after 14 hours on shift and I was supposed to be done hours ago but there is another F1 next to me and damn, despite the extra 3 hours tagged on while we finished our jobs there is a camaraderie and a sense of us-against-the-world and it’s satisfying, wonderful, affirming, and I realise I need to eat because I’ve not been eating much today but I can’t be bothered so I have a peanut butter sandwich, go to bed, lay my head down to town with the other doctors, various grades, and the mess is paying for food and drink this evening so it’s going to be grand, the faces around me are familiar friends and it’s so good to get out of the hospital even though the talk is medicine and tales from the wards and I am talking about being totally out of my depth and this patient is really, really sick and what the hell am I doing here and I have to take a deep breath and remember A is for airway, patent and own, B is for breathing, crackles both lung bases, respiratory rate– and the curtain peels back and the SHO has arrived and at least now I’m not on my own and senior help is soothing and confidence in my own decisions is something that will come with time is just flying, long days, short weeks, and it’s a kaleidoscope of people and places and problems whirling into this one job, this one life because it’s more than a job and I wake up at night and the first thought is who do I need to review, who’s next on the list, what will tomorrow bring.

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