Sunday, February 27, 2011

Online identity

It's interesting to think that millions of people worldwide can have access to the things I write within a few clicks of a mouse. I often wonder whether the things I can say are all that interesting.

Twitter has exploded of recent years, and micro-blogging has really taken off. I recently got retweeted by Kirstie Allsop (off the telly) when I offered advice to women about emergency cesarean sections, and wondered then about the legalities of an online presence. A friend once pointed out the possible consequences of being too open online, too much information can easily lead to patient identifying information and their confidentiality can easily be breached. This of course would be unethical, and bad for patient care, and there is a risk to my professional career.

I have seen recently a few examples of when colleagues and friends get a bit too close to this, and it is occurring more frequently. Over the last few years hospital Trusts have started including social networking policies in their guidance and have started to ban he uploading of pictures of the workplace, especially of staff or patients, no matter what the context.

So although my work life is incredibly interesting and exciting, it's also a big secret for the online community! My warning to my friends and colleagues online is to be mindful of your online presence, that what you tweet/facebook becomes the permanent property of someone else, and you may give away more of yourself than you mean to. It is certainly not worth your career, unless you can make a mint out of blogging!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

New one on the way, head injury and trips to IKEA

I've been asked recently why it is I have been tweeting so much, but not writing on my blog. I guess they are the same thing really, especially seeing as my tweets can be found in the sidebar of this blog. Also, it takes only a few seconds to use Twitter, but it takes a wee while to sit down and write a blog article. For example, the time that I'm using to type this should really (in the eyes of Mrs. G.) be being used to erect the nursery furniture we just bought from IKEA.

That's right, there is another baby on the way, I don't know if I mentioned that before, but he is nearly here. It has been a rocky road, like before, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. Mrs. G is 36 weeks today and the bump would no longer really be premature should he make an appearance. This is good, as he looked like he was coming two weeks ago! We were due to go to Center Parcs for the week, and on the Saturday Mrs. G started contracting 3 in 10, fairly strong and we had to go to the delivery suite. Luckily it was where I had worked before and they got the registrar to see us straight away without having to be seen by an SHO who no doubt would have been a GP trainee with no interest in O&G. A quick 'fibronectin' test later and we were assured that bump would not be coming for at least two weeks. Nice.

We had a great time at Center Parcs, as usual. We went to the Sherwood Forest one again, and stayed in a villa next door to the swimming pool. There is always a difference in family dynamic everytime we go to CP, there is usually someone different with us and this time it was the bump. Mrs. G couldn't go on any of the fun slides, but made it a couple of times down the big tube ones. Josh however wanted to go on everything, which he managed all except the Rapids, he isn't really a strong enough swimmer to manage that one. That said, Josh has excellent form when it comes to swimming strokes, and his armbands are probably not that far from coming off. I've attached some CP pictures to this article.

Yesterday I had a real injury! I was in the lounge, we'd had a fairly lazy day sorting things round the house, an I went to lie down backwards on the new carpet. BAM! I hit the back of my head really hard on the oak nest of tables I got Mrs. G for Christmas. Ooooo, the pain. I couldn't bear to move for a few moments, but once I realised I could still see and move I went to assess the damage. My family were with me, but I quickly remembered that I was the medically trained one, and they haven't yet been on that first aid course I've been promising to sort out for them! So I sorted my own bleeding head (torrential, needed a gauze dressing and a bandage!) and then came back to clean the blood off the new carpet. Crazy! I was pleased to find myself alive and well this morning, and I'm not sure whether it was me or concussion talking but I agreed to go to IKEA over lunchtime.

We did some last minute nursery furniture shopping, had a good lunch, and my concussion allowed me to spend whatever the number was on the chip/pin machine. Not sure what the total was, my eyes were still a bit blurry! ;)

Bye for now, the wee man wants some grapes!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Yesterday's quirks

Yesterday I had two funnies:

One elderly patient who had had some premed came out with "this couple get married and on their wedding night he says 'I'm sorry but I'm built like a baby done there'. She says 'don't worry, we'll get through it'. He drops his trousers, she screams and runs out! She returns trembling and says 'I thought you were built like a baby?' He replies 'yes, 7 pounds and 22 inches long'!

Later in the day we found that a gentleman booked for an ENT case would not get done for a lack of surgeon. We rang down later to make sure the surgeons had told the ward. In the background I hear the fire alarm! The support worker tells me someone burnt some toast. Could I speak more loudly please? I said 'YES! HAVE YOU FED MR. X?' She says 'it was his toast'!

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Monday, July 20, 2009

Waiting for the bus

I'm currently in the sunshine waiting for the staff shuttle bus to take me across to the other hospital site to start my oncall duties. I'm probably going to be late, but I'm not stressing too much.

I haven't blogged for such a long time, so there is loads to say. I've been really busy for the last year really. Since passing the final FRCA in June last year I've been getting into prehospital care. I was happily celebrating my success at the pub in Russell square, when my friend and colleague (also just passed) came to me and said I should get on the air ambulance. I was a bit drink by then and thought it a great idea!

So that was it, I've been observing on the midlands air ambulance, and driving around Stoke on Trent on a Friday night with a paramedic for coming up to a year. I've done so many courses I think my brain might burst, all my life support courses and the PHECC (prehospital emergency care course).

I have recently been accepted as a doctor on the north staffs emergency response car and have done two shifts, the first one was ace, with an RTC near Abbots Bromley ending in a helicopter flight. Really exciting stuff. I plan to make that a regular commitment, whilst getting some more observing done on the helicopter. Hopefully I can get flying as a doc from Tatenhill, which is close to my house.

Anyway, the bus is here now, so off to stage 3 of today's activities. Bye!
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Friday, November 07, 2008

A promotion!!

Well, not so much a promotion as extra responsibility.  I'm now 3rd On-call at Queen's hospital Burton on Trent.  This essentially means that I'm looking after the novice anaesthetist when (s)he's on call, but I'm also an extra pair of hands or a second brain for intensive care and maternity anaesthetists alike.

Yesterday I finished my first week of nights in this new role, and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I'm told that other 3rd ons have just confined themselves to sitting in the coffee room ready to bail out the newbie in times of trouble.  I've never been one to sit still for too long, so I found myself helping out in theatre (the newbie actually told me to sit in the coffee room by the end of the week!), helping to sort out the critically ill folk on the ward with the ITU SHO (who was a non-anaesthetist so needed some extra skills anyway), and even on the maternity unit - they were so busy over the week that I found myself demonstrating labour epidurals to the novice quite a bit!  It was great to feel needed by all three members of the team, and I was able to coordinate a little too.  I'm sure the consultants felt the benefit, as I was able to keep them in bed all week!

The new job role has been tiring though, and I'm trying to get over a stinking cold, I'm just about there, being able to sleep in chunks longer than 2.5-3 hours has made the difference I think.

The other major change is that I'm now flying with the air ambulance.  I'm observing the docs in the prehospital setting in order to go solo and do it myself in the near future.  Having missed out on an ED job, and prioritising the FRCA over other qualifications has meant there is a lot of work to do before I can go it alone.  I'm spending next week in the ED minors, to learn how to manage fractures and minor wounds, and I've enrolled in all the life support provider courses I can get into - ATLS, ALS, APLS, and MIMMS!  So many manuals, so little time!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A beautiful holiday

I'm lying in bed at the end of my week in Spain, totally relaxed, having had a tremendous holiday. This is a bit of a test really, I've not tried to write a blog entry on my BlackBerry before.

Anyway, the three of us had a great time, the start of it was with my Mum and Dad, and my Nan, and they really enjoyed seeing Josh on holiday. We decided early on to bite the bullet and put some armbands on him and see what happened. Amazingly enough he just started kicking and got on with it! So now he is capable of two lengths of a rally big pool without help. My boy is amazing me everyday.

Let's hope the flight home is a smooth one and England has dried out a bit!
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Waiting for the sunshine

I always seem to start a blog entry thinking that I haven't written anything for some time, and that I must do it more often. Today is no exception. It's currently 01:35am, I'm sat in the ODP office in Main Theatres, and I'm waiting for the right moment to get some kip. Unfortunately, there is no such time, as being the oncall obstetric anaesthetist means that there will always be a call to do some work right at the moment your head hits the pillow, or worse 15 minutes in so you've just dozed off.

There have been some dramatic changes in my life, partly responsible for the lack of blogging. I spent the last six months of my life with my nose in the books, studying religiously for the final FRCA examination. I finally took the last part of the last exam at the end of June, and passed! Good grief though, it was a tough exam. I felt during the vivas as though I was making up the answers as I went along, good job I made sense I guess. Some of my colleagues were not so fortunate and have been left in this state of limbo - knowing that they will have to continue working that hard for the next few months until the next exam, and that they will not have their lives back for some time yet.

My life however, is fully restored to me. It's wonderful not having to feel guilty about spending time with my family, I'm reveling in the summer that might not have been. In case I didn't mention it before, I'm back in Burton on Trent hospital again, and it has been great to see all the friendly faces there again. Not much has changed, and it has been easy to settle into the old routines again. Unfortunately the pace has quickened significantly in this once-sleepy burrow, and there is more than enough work to keep us all busy! The maternity unit has gone for taking about 3500 deliveries a year to well over 4000! The epidural rate seems to have gone from 25% to close to 50%, and the cesearean rate is increasing too. The hospital has been getting some very good word of mouth recommendations, and with the implementation of patient choice, we are getting parturients from all over the region choose to deliver at Burton.

There is an important decision looming over the family at the moment. It is an age-old decision that countless millions of families have pondered through for centuries. It is such a fundamental decision that the rest of our lives depend on it, and there is a finite time period in which to decide.

Baby or Rabbit?

Man, I wish I knew the answer. Only time will tell.