Wednesday, 6 February 2013

A few steps forward

Sea and sky with distant boats
Brixham, August 2012
Into week two I go, forging ahead with getting more of the policies under my belt (Arson Prevention Policy, anyone?) and still observing other people at work rather than doing any proper work myself. I spend a happy couple of hours walking around the hospital with floor plans, discovering a deserted Cyber Cafe, the ID office, the car parking and security office, and registering with the medical library. I can nearly find my way to most of the important places now.

My parking pass arrives, and mystifies me by being entirely paper with a small hologram, and no accompanying explanation. Given that the car parks are 'pay to exit' with barriers, I can't understand how it would work. I pay a visit to the car parking and security office, which I now know how to find, and they explain that some of the car parks would now accept my swipe cards, while others operated by numberplate recognition. Having made sure to clean my numberplate, I am recognised successfully this morning.

I have decided to call my Room-Share Buddy 'RSB', which can equally represent 'Really Supportive Bloke'. He is proving a delight to work with, and although I am not moving forward towards independent working as fast as I would like, he is reassuring about my progress. We have discussed which clinics I will cover, and agreed a start date of 11 March, when I will be on my own. It is unfortunate that this date is my first day back after a week's holiday that I have planned with Mr A, and is the start of two weeks when RSB won't be around. So I really will be on my own, except for the DSNs, who I'm sure will help if I need it.

On Friday, by coincidence, RSB was scheduled to deliver a talk to Dietitians from the main department, so I joined the merry throng. We were split into three groups and given tasks to complete: one group was looking at medications for Type 2 diabetes, I was in the group categorising different types of insulin, and the third group was sorting out various hypo treatments. We made a dog's dinner of the insulins, highlighting again that I still have much to learn. I have found a checklist designed to ensure that different types of patients are given all the information they need, but it will prove useful for me to indicate how much I don't know.

I attended another CPD session led by the specialist obesity Dietitian, all about obesity in pregnancy - how much weight a pregnant woman might gain, healthy eating advice in pregnancy and whether weight loss should be encouraged for obese women who get pregnant. It was very interesting although not very relevant, as I won't be covering the ante-natal diabetes clinic unless I am called upon due to unforeseen circumstances. More relevant was a session delivered by a rep from one of the companies that sell insulin - more on this in another post, I think, along with a report on the 'structured education' that I have been attending, aimed at people with Type 1 diabetes and delivered one day a week for four weeks.

I had a long discussion with a very congenial chap from IT, and we took about a quarter of an hour to find suitable times for training on three essential systems, after which I still had to move my Occupational Health appointment (again) and send apologies for a meeting that I can no longer attend. I'm sure that computer systems will feature again on these pages before long. I have many strong opinions already about the state of the IT to which I have so far been given access.

Part of the difficulty of scheduling the IT training is the number of meetings that have been deemed appropriate for me to attend. Being part of two separate teams (Diabetes and Dietetics) doubles the number of team meetings, and the Diabetes team seems to have a lot of other meetings, including education and updates from reps aimed mainly at the medical team, and sponsored by pharmaceutical companies. I've been to two of these, but they were rather dry and focused on the presentation of lots of clinical data to support the prescription of their products, and the speakers were soundly heckled by the doctors, seemingly as a form of sport. It does mean a free lunch one day a week (although of course there is no such thing as a free lunch).

We have a large and important Diabetes meeting tomorrow, which all ranks and grades and specialties are required to attend, and which will 'debate' the future convergence of the Diabetes service, potentially onto one site rather than over the current two sites where it is presently located. I am not looking forward to this meeting one bit - it will be highly political, I won't know any of the background and locations and services and personnel, and while I would prefer the future location to be Hospital A because that is easier for me to get to, I have no relevant arguments to support this in terms of quality of service outcomes. The meeting is also scheduled to end more than an hour after the end of my work day, so I will be trying quite hard to sit near the door and leave as inconspicuously as possible.


  1. All those meetings sound exhausting! But I worked at a company where we maybe had two meetings in the space of two years and the things that went wrong because no one communicated... it's a fine balance.

    - Marjolein

  2. The big strategic meeting has taken place now, and it was more interesting than I thought it would be. I managed to leave at the right moment, but it carried on for TWO HOURS after the end of my working day, so I'm glad I left when I did!


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