Layla's space

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams it is still a beautiful world.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Got it!

I got it, I got it, I got it, I got a job! Get in!

The Clin Onc interview was fucking scary, 7 people sat round a table staring at me and taking it in turns to interrogate me with gems such as:

'Where do you see radiotherapy going in the next ten years?'
'What are the advantages of intensity-modulated radiotherapy?'
'Why is research important to the NHS as a whole?'

Thank God I worked my arse off for this. I can't say the answers tripped off my tongue exactly, but at least they were there.

I am so relieved. 5 years of employment sorted (as long as I pass the exams).

Of course, London is a big city and the London rotation also includes several posts in places which are clearly not part of London, such as Brighton. They didn't ask us to rank our preferences for which rough geographical area we would like to work in, let alone which hospitals. We'll move around every few months. I could end up with a mammoth commute for part of the rotation at least.

Oh I don't give a fuck. I've got a job.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Mr E's Beautiful Blues

A good shift last night. Nice and quiet. Got some interview stuff done.

I was on Ward X doing some jobs when I got a bleep. It was Nurse A calling from one of the other wards.

'I have a gentleman on the other line who's had some tingling in his fingers after cisplatin chemotherapy. He wants to talk to a doctor. Can I put him through?'

Numbness and tingling in the hands and feet after platinum-based chemotherapy is common. It's troublesome but not dangerous.

'Can you please take his number and tell him I'll call him back in 15 minutes?' I said. 'I'm in the middle of something at the moment.'

Plus I hate it when nurses just put people straight through without giving me a chance to look up the patient's medical records first (we have them all on the computer system, so this doesn't take long anyway).

Nurse A sighed exaggeratedly.

'Fine. Get off the line then.' And she hung up on me.

Nurse A only ever works nights. I have found her invariably difficult, prickly and often downright rude. This is the general consensus amongst the SHOs, as well as some of her nursing colleagues. Just one of those things I guess.

Anyway, I went down to Nurse A's ward soon after and found her sitting at the nurses' station. I asked her for the patient's contact details. She wordlessly shoved a bit of paper at me on which she had scrawled the name and number.

I peered at it. 'Mr E...illegible....t', it said.

I looked at Nurse A, genuinely puzzled. 'Mr.....Elephant?' I asked.

She stared at me, stony-faced. Then she smirked. The smirk cracked her wooden face. Then she started to shake. Then, to my utter astonishment, difficult, prickly, downright rude, downright miserable Nurse A threw back her head and roared with laughter. There were tears running down her face.

Speechless with mirth, she clapped me on the back and walked off to the treatment room, still giggling, her shoulders shaking.

It's funny how we misjudge people.

Mr Elephant, incidentally, was fine.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

I must be a mass murderer, and as for the Dr Rant team....

Mother: So, what did you learn at nursery today?
Excited four-year-old girl: Fuck! Fuck! Fuck-fuck!
Mother: Every time you say that, one of Santa's elves dies, you know.

Courtesy of the brilliant 'Overheard Everywhere' site.


I have interviews! Yes, yes, yes! Thank you God.

I have an interview for Medical Oncology on Wednesday 12th, followed 2 hours later by my Clinical Oncology one. Clin Onc is the really important one so I'm glad I've got the Med Onc one first as a kind of practice run.

Oh the relief.

I have my nose to the grindstone at the moment preparing (well, I'm trying to keep it to the grindstone but it keeps wandering off to do other things like make food and write this). I am again marvelling at my good fortune in having these days off to prepare - no work til Saturday night, plus I have Monday and Tuesday off to recover from my weekend shifts before the interview.

The 'interview suit' is hanging in the wardrobe looking at me, and the 'interview shoes' are daring me to twist an ankle when I put them on. Oh bugger, do I have any stockings without holes in them? Better get down to M+S later.

Oh please please please lovely interview panel, please give me a Clin Onc job.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

What a night!

Coming to the end of that night shift now. Bloody hell, it was busy. Non-stop from 9pm last night until now, and of course I didn't manage to get any sleep during the day yesterday. I was hoping to stay up today and do some interview stuff but I'm totally shattered and am just going to go straight to bed when I get home, hopefully just for a few hours. I'll try and haul my arse out of bed by 3pm or so to get stuck into some serious work.

I talked things over with my other half yesterday evening, and he helped to soothe my guilty conscience a bit. Apparently if I hadn't accepted the night shift they would have had to get my colleague to do the shift himself and then go straight to his interview in the morning. I can barely see at the moment I'm so tired, so if he had done this shift prior to his interview I'm pretty sure he would have been in no fit state to perform well today. Apparently a night shift before an interview cannot be taken as 'interview leave' so a person in that situation either has to swap the shift or do it themselves.

Finding out about those rules made me feel a lot better, and having done a pretty hideous shift on behalf of my colleague makes me feel better still. I actually helped him out, and I'm glad.