“How much gin does it take to get through a weekend of ward cover?”: ‘pregnancy’, medical emergencies and norovirus


gggggoooooooooooddddddd mmmmmoooorrrrnnnniiinnnnnggg


So I’m 6 months in… No wait SEVEN months! how, just how does time go so so so fast. (okay probably more like 8 months by the time I post this)


I’m currently on (well finished) my 2nd rotation of F1 in the acute medical unit/MAU/emergency floor… AKA a bit of the hospital that is a sort of ‘purgatory’ post A&E/GP for patients prior to either going home or being actually admitted onto a ‘normal’ ward.



It’s errr okay. I would say i am definitely not enjoying it as much as my previous job and find a lot of very much similar to if I was a secretary or a PA with a stethoscope…

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I’m finding the on calls are the saving grace… And that’s weird. Being the medical F1 on call at the weekend with 1 SHO covering approx 300+ patients is like fighting a fire with a small pound land water pistol. It’s a bit nuts, its testing but it’s rather fun… I suppose I just a bit of punishment and pain… And definitely the satisfactory moment when you see the patient again on monday who was NEWS-ing a 14 is now a 0.



But some times the bleeps you get make you want to hit your face against a wall.



Especially on my on call the other week I got 88 in 13 hours… pretty much one every 5-7 minutes. including a time where I got 19 in 45 minutes, including bleeps of why haven’t I done the thing they asked me to do already.

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The saving grace is my eye roll can’t be detected over the phone for some of the more ridiculous bleeps such as:

“Doctor Doctor, can my patient go downstairs and see his dog?”

Or normally the slight look of sheer panic on my face when I was bleeped by a nurse saying:

“Doctor Doctor, my patient’s blood pressure of 52/35”


“Doctor Doctor, my patient has just vomited about 700ml of blood. Can you come and see him?”

Or the look of ‘are you having me on’

Doctor, my patient going to the hospice doesn’t have a renew date on his DNACPR. Can you come and review him for his DNACPR please before he goes to the hospice?”

are you kidding me

We have a fast bleep system where you can call a “medical emergency” or cardiac arrest… We have a system by which you can put out a fast bleep… Fast bleep by which our bleep shouts at us “MET CALL *insert location here*” and we come fairly quickly and you get a team of 5+ Doctors.

This works well and fairly often its 80 year old Mrs Mavis whose fainted in the ‘flower room’ or Costa. But, it’s a fast and sure-fire way to get help quick… But alas the adventures in medical on calls continue for another 4 months!


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I just love the patients that have no filter what so ever… I had one man tell me to wear more make-up as I looked tired, I kindly explained I was at the end of my 3rd 13 hour shift and quite frankly all I wanted to do was head butt my bed and collapse.

However, the other week i went to go and see a very rotund lady or as per OSCE language ‘large body habitus’, really really large body habitus… see I can use PC language when needed…

I was tasked with finding a vein, which I was doing when she perked up and said…

“I guess I must say CONGRATULATIONS”


Which in this situation could only be 1 of a very few things…

  1. I found a vein
  2. she mistook the ring on my right ring finger for my left hand
  3. She thought i was pregnant

Lets just say i was still hunting for a vein, i did not have my ring on that day… So yes ladies and gentlemen she was congratulating me on my ‘pregnancy’ or as I like to call it my bacon and egg baby from the cafeteria that morning… (I like to think it would have been a girl)
I kindly explained to her that no, sorry I am not pregnant. to which most people would be embarrassed, the only time i did that on the tube i got off at the next stop from pure mortifying embarrassment.

But no… She then patted her stomach and said

“Oh don’t worry you’re just a bit like me”



There are vaguely mortifying moments like this consistently. Mostly involving elderly patients shouting things at me. Including a 78 year old calling me a ‘ugly c*&t’ for taking her blood…

The other day however, I opened up a curtain to a patient I had to do a PR on and low and behold he was on the bed on all fours… A lot of awkward ‘mmm no please err lie on your side’ continued and luckily we had a good giggle about it

[I did try to find a photo by googling ‘all fours’… Mistake… a BIG mistake]


I must say I am really enjoying the job all in all and feel like now I can manage acute situations in which I’m managing well and getting lovely feedback. I am loving medicine (surgery lets just say isn’t for me…), and discovering I’m very much a generalist. I don’t think I could ever be a specialist therefore, I think I am very much leaning towards acute medicine as I secretly enjoy a good ‘oh holy shit my pants’ moments.

But the best bit of the on call is the gin and tonic at the end of it… my God so much gin


Well chaps, until next time… I am writing this after a weekend on call and having the jots of norovirus because Mrs bed C5 decided that it was a great idea to give it me.

Go to Geriatrics they said, it’ll be fun they said…

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