Thursday, 10 May 2012

Not keeping up

Bleeding heart pink and white flowers
Mr M and Lola II's garden, April 2012
I am so behind with everything - all the blogs waiting for me in my Reader, audio books unread, and loads of podcasts just sitting there. This is partly because of sharing rides to and from work, so I have to do conversation rather than listening to podcasts or books, and partly because I have decided not to spend so much time sitting at the computer. I'm not sure in what way the rest of my life has benefited, because I don't seem to get a whole lot of other things done, but it seems like the right decision.

Work continues as ever with patients on the wards and in clinic. Last clinic: ten patients were on the list the day before, only nine were left by the morning of clinic and eight remained when one phoned to cancel. Five turned up. This is typical. The reception staff say that Tuesday is the worst day of the week and car parking is so bad that perhaps people arrive, drive around for 15 minutes not being able to park, get fed up and just go away again. The reception staff don't know why Tuesdays are particularly bad. At least I didn't need any interpreters, for once.

On the wards, the Friday before a Bank Holiday weekend seems particularly difficult as ward staff realise that if patients are not seen on Friday then they will not be seen for another three days at least. All my NG-fed patients seemed to be pulling their tubes out, which made me worry that they may not be fed over the weekend. On the other hand, quite a few were transferred out to Intermediate Care, Rehabilitation or other hospitals and one or two were put on palliative care, the End Of Life Care Pathway, or just died.

I have been working with a student for two weeks - not all the time, just three mornings or afternoons a week. It is difficult. I am not a natural teacher, and I am trying hard to find the right level of encouragement compared with correction or instruction. I have only been a qualified Dietitian for three months, and am still finding my own way of doing things, making it difficult to pretend that I know what I'm doing all the time. And as I have said before, it's not so long since I was having a hard time being a student on placement. But we do our best.

You may have noticed the infrequency of my blog posts nowadays. One of the most frustrating things is that I am unable to report much of what goes on, since it involves individual patients or students or colleagues. The golden rule is that I can only write stories that these individuals would not be able to recognise as being about themselves. To do this, I can either change so many details that the point is lost, or write something so generic that there is no recognisable story left. Both of these are clearly unsatisfactory.

A new Dietitian is starting this week, and my wards will change around. My line manager is going on maternity leave and a new Dietitian will replace her later in May. Maybe then I will have some new stories to tell.

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