Through a weird twist of fate, I went to Kingston Hospital again today for my ID check, as I’ll be starting there from the 5th of August (AKA Black Wednesday) for one month to make up enough FY2 time to be signed off. I’m not entirely sure why I was placed in Kingston; the whole process went on without my consultation. It was an eerie experience parking up and walking through the main entrance, the last time was all more dramatic stumbling out of the back of the ambulance, I still wonder why the paramedics only gave me paracetamol for the journey. As I walked through the corridors I had a vivid feeling of my mind being soaked in morphine, reminded how it literally washed away any pain and any cares I had. It’s like a warm bath for the mind, it feels good at the time, but you’re problems remain. The purple badges, all the members of staff were wearing today, a stark reminder of the skin cancer nurse specialist’s. The badge which said a thousand awful words, all at once, without a sound.
So am I glad to be going back? I do feel that they (South Thames Foundation School) could have rung me to inform me of this decision and maybe asked if I was happy to work in a hospital where I was diagnosed, I am I think, in my job as a doctor I will and have got stark reminders of the diagnosis. A friend said at least you’ll know the way around, I doubt that actually, I spent most of the time high in a side room.
St Helier, my current trust, have been fantastic and they gave me pretty much all I asked for and more, my psychiatry placement albeit a little slow has been a good reintroduction to work. I had hoped that I would be placed in St. Helier A&E for four weeks to make up the time, which was offered to me by St. Helier, having worked there as a locum it made sense. Unfortunately the foundation school felt that I had to be given a proper FY2 position instead of having one made for me. They told me by email which I received just as I was about to get on a flight back to Gatwick from Nice. The email, despite saying it had considered my circumstances, didn’t seem personal at all, and frustratingly said that I had to work for 4 months in Geriatrics. This was not in my master plan, which is to finish FY2 and locum 1-2 weeks a month and have fun for the rest. Instead I had an angst ridden trip back to the UK thinking I’d be stuck working for another 4 months just to be signed off. They’ve since apologised for the email.
The day after my holiday I rang and got in writing that I only had twenty days of Fy2 to do… this is a farce! For 20 days work, along with the ID check, I have to: attend two induction days, complete large forms, see occupational health and do online e-learning modules. I do feel it could have been easier to stay at St. Helier where I could have been manning the fort on Black Wednesday while everyone else was in induction. Furthermore hospital inductions are largely pointless, and go a little bit like this, infection control, library, fire safety, dementia screening, and venous thromboembolism assessments the latter two, because hospitals get paid to do them. The second induction day will be how to use the IT system, it’s the same as Croydon, where I worked in FY1, but I’ll have to sit through it nonetheless. I think it’s telling that I managed to go through the whole induction day at St Helier blind, because inexplicably my glasses arm broke off on my way to the induction whilst sitting on the bus. I had two choices either be the guy who’s got broken glasses or pretend I could see. Considering I’ve got a whole blog about having curly hair I’m sure you know what I chose, the vanity option. The trouble was I had to go around stations filling in forms and sign registers, to find my name I had to lean down very close to the table to find it. Fortunately another former Leicester medic turned up who acted as my guide dog. It made no difference to how I was throughout the year, I still washed my hands.
While I’m at Kingston I’ll take the opportunity to update the specialist skin care nurse, the specialist pain nurse and the ward where I stayed about my progress. I think they’ll all be a little bit surprised to see me, I’m definitely surprised to be able to walk in pain free with a stethoscope around my neck.