Worst week of my work yet ….

16 October 2017

So this week I have worked 115 hours! I left work at 11:30pm on Thursday after being meant to finish at 4:30! I have been on take, and my SHO was on call all week so unable to help with any ward jobs. My consultant decided to START his mammoth ward rounds at 4pm, and I am meant to finish at 4:30. It has been so hard, very physically and emotionally demanding. I’m not going to lie; I have asked myself several times this week whether it’s worth it.

To add to my horrible week my purse got stolen out of my bag which was in the doctor’s office. I was so upset as it was such a massive effort to cancel all my cards etc. To add insult to injury, I needed more concealer to hide my massive bags under my eyes and went to pay with my new boots advantage card, to find out that the monster who stole my purse not only had all my cash but they also used all of my boots advantage points!!!! How rude!!!! I’m just glad they didn’t steal my car keys as it’s a very long way to walk to Hull from Grimsby!

I had to have 4 very horrible conversations this week too, along with my consultant. It was a rough week for our team. One 61 year old patient with newly diagnosed pancreatic cancer which has metastasised everywhere, and another previously fit and well 41 year old with cholangiocarcinoma. We are awaiting some more super-specialised tests to see if it is surgically resectable – I really hope it is! Two more patients have very severe dementia and we had to have discussions with their families about how much they want us to investigate etc. Very difficult to hear and watch the families be so upset.

Friday at 6:30 after pulling my hair out all day with very sick patients and feeling like everything was a complete battle, I was so tired and ready to go home. I walked through the ward on the way to the office, and a 41 year old patient who was being transferred to a specialist centre for removal of his cholangiocarcinoma handed me a massive JAR of chocolates to say thank you for looking after him, and that my hands were nice and warm when I examined him! Haha! Then I decided that no matter how hard the week is or how many horrible conversations you have to have with people, it’s the small things that make it worth it, and it the patients feel well looked after that is the main thing! Let’s hope next week will be better – but saying that I am on call tomorrow … AGAIN!!!


Dr Laura Cunliffe is a Hull York Medical School graduate (Class of 2017) and a foundation year 1 doctor in Grimsby hospital currently working in general surgery.

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