Clinician Stories

Recognising the dangers of a depleted system

I’m scared.  What I’ve seen play out before me over the last few weeks scares me as much, if not more than the events of the few short crazy weeks leading up to the first national lockdown in March 2020. Back then there was a sense of solidarity, of battle...

Recognising Patient Fears

She’d sat and waited for nearly four hours by the time it was her turn to be called through. It was late one Friday evening, and the department had been busy with what seemed like a constant stream of pre-alerts and ambulances. As a team we had dealt with a multitude...

Reconceiving the metaphor of ‘magic’ hospital curtains

I sleep with the window open, although the light, or darkness, outside is all but hidden by the blind that drapes the length of the glass panels. Recently sleep has been fitful, and often I’ve lain in silence in the small hours listening in delight to an owl quietly...

Reckoning day is here: let us harness the self care agenda for the collective good.

Flicking idly through a glossy, fashion magazine a headline grabs my attention: “A band-aid for bullet wounds: is the self-care craze doing more harm than good?” I am intrigued, partly because I am facing my own conundrums in a work context about whose responsibility...
Recollections: taking it all in

Recollections: taking it all in

It was a cold, bleak Sunday in January. The trees were bare, the sky colourless and the ground had that bleached look it gets when it’s cold enough to see your own breath. A grey, tired landscape, devoid of colour after the Christmas holiday. Inside the ward was a...

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Re-leveling: how stories ground us.

Re-leveling: how stories ground us.

Doctors make mistakes. There; I've said it. For those of us in the profession, that can be a hard pill to swallow, but the earlier that lesson is learnt the better, not only for our patients but also for ourselves. Doctors make mistakes - the important question is,...

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Recalling my time in neurosurgery

Recalling my time in neurosurgery

As a junior doctor I spent six months working on a neurosurgical ward of a London hospital. This job was unlike any I had worked before. The hours were long and the work intensive. Our rota of four doctors was only filled by three of us, meaning at times a 1:2 on-call...

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Re-defining: culture and purpose

Re-defining: culture and purpose

It was my first ward sisters post. It was on ‘that ward’. You know, the one that everyone talks about? The staff are always rude, (apparently) the patients have a terrible experience and it always has well, an ‘aroma’ about it. Colleagues looked at me with total...

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Reaching out

Reaching out

“I'm not ready to go yet.” The words were barely understandable through the sobs, but the feeling and power with which they were spoken was immense. My patient was in her 30's and had been admitted through the Emergency Department to the surgical ward I was working on...

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Recovering myslef

Recovering myslef

"I'm so sorry for keeping you waiting." I heard the words spoken from within me as my next patient walked through the door from the waiting room to the minor injury area of the Emergency Department. It was after midnight. My shift had officially finished over three...

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Respecting everyone in surgery

Respecting everyone in surgery

“ I have found that the smartest, most competent, empathetic women in medicine are the most likely to rate their performance as ‘awful’, ‘terrible’, or a failure. This characteristic gets worse the higher the level of coaching that I am providing. This is ridiculous;...

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