Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Went to an orientation session for my new position this morning and had this strange conversation concerning an Esteemed Colleague, Binky*:
I don't think Binky is coming this morning.

He told me that he would.

Well he doesn't need to. He won't have slept because he worked all night last night.

So did I.

But he doesn't really need to come because he worked in this area earlier in the year.

Me too.

It's really hard, you know, to send someone an email saying, "This session is on but you don't really have to come to it", because then people wouldn't bother to come.
Isn't it heartwarming to know that in these troubled times we still have people looking out for our best interests?

*Obviously his name is not Binky.  Names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Friday, October 26, 2012

PTR's guide to five weeks of night shifts

Week 1: you hate the nurses.  All nurses are blundering dolts who exist purely to waste your time and mislead you.

Week 2: you hate the home medical teams.  All doctors are inscrutable scribbling fence-sitters, refusing to actively manage their patients until forced to by multiple emergency calls to intensive care overnight.

Week 3: you hate the patients.  All patients are demented, stinking, crumbly bags of blood and faeces just waiting to crash out of bed the moment you settle down for a rest.

Week 4: you hate your family, innocent passers-by, Mother Theresa.  Humanity is doomed, and deaf to your plaintive cries to save itself.

Week 5: you hate yourself and yourself only.  Just do what it takes to get through the next hour, day, week.  The end is in sight, or it would be if it wasn't for this darkness.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Handle with care

Meanwhile, I'm still waiting for a job.  Which sucks.

Have had far too many awkward conversations with people who assume that I've got something sorted by now and are then left feeling embarrassed and unsure of what to say when I reveal that I'm languishing at the bottom of the heap.  Sigh.

I try to be philosophical about it.  The reality is that there are X jobs out there for which Y people are competing.  And Y is bigger than X.  So someone is going to miss out.  Hopefully it won't still be me standing when the music stops in November, which is when the last round of offers come out.  After that, it's a free for all, and I don't know what will happen.

Funny thing is, it hadn't occurred to me that I wouldn't be in top X/Yths of the cohort.  As far as I know I interviewed fine, and as far as I know my referee reports were fine, and my resume was fine too.  After dwelling on it for too long at night you start to develop conspiracy theories.

Such as: my referees hated me so much that they gave me good term assessments in order to lure me into asking them for references, in order to write me bad ones and destroy my career.  Actually I kind of admire those evil bastards for being so Machiavellian.

And this one: the admin officer at the hospital deliberately shuffled my name to the bottom of the list because I've been such a pain to deal with during the year due to my incessant demands for special treatment.  Because I'm heaps demanding, right?

Or this: I smell.  And the interview was in such a small room that I nearly killed the panel.  Could be.  Nobody ever tells you when you smell.

Every day I check my emails.  Nothing.  Well, nothing but ads for cheese festivals.  Maybe I can get a job as a cheese-guy.  It might mask the smell...

Anyway, if you run into me in the next little while and I look grumpy (grumpier than usual), you'll know why.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


A couple more brain-numbing requests from my adventures on the dark wards...

The first one speaks for itself: "Patient's blood pressure 105/45 @ 2030 hrs.  Now 100/50 @ 1130 hrs.  Please review for falling BP."

The second one was to review a patient because his blood glucose was 12.6.  Now half the people walking around the Colonades on a Thursday afternoon would have a higher BGL than this, but sure, I'll take a look.  The first thing I notice when I walk in the room is that the guy is on a dextrose drip.  That'd explain it.  The nurse wonders if we should stop the dextrose because he's "hyperglycaemic".  Well, he's been admitted for an insulin overdose, so probably not.