Saturday, 23 May 2009

Doctor Poem

Junior Doctor

Each demand 'top priority' but usually mundane
I'm trying to get through each one in vain
Doing nothing well, making mistakes
Not even taking any breaks
I look worse than ill
Can't I have a pill?

I can't think - Just tell me what to do!
"You're the Doctor - we're supposed to say that to you!
But while you're here; sign here, and here...
We've done it already, have no fear!"
But this D-dimer is a thousand, why did you ask for that?
Now he needs a V/Q and clexane stat.

I need the toilet, but my bleeper sounds
I don't care, I need the sanctuary a cubical allows
Until it shouts from under my pants:
It turns out to be someone who's slipped in the rain
So I trudge back to the other side of the hospital again

"Doc - where have you been?
There's five patients waiting - none of them seen!"
Who do I start with: the one with gangrene?
Or unconscious? Or whose relatives scream:
"You're a Doctor? You're too young...
Where's the Consultant? He's the important one!"

Someone just died in Sideroom One
Perhaps I could nip in and certify them?
Four minutes of listening for life
Absolute quiet - forgetting the strife.
Pupils fixed and dilated, no furrowed brow
No more demands that life would allow.

I'm wakened from my trance by an alarm
A drip is obstructed - in an oedematous arm
How will I ever get another one in?
Can't we just stop it? Give in?
I'm at my wits end but there's more to come
I'll probably end up examining someone's bum.

My watch says three hours longer, from bad to worse
Till its confiscated by an Infection Control Nurse
"Bare below elbow" they say as they go
A suspendable offence? I do hope so...
"Excuse me, Dr Doyle?" A nurse says all too soon
Yes, I reply, with a sense of impending doom

"Did you prescribe this?" Yes, Co-amoxiclav.
"But the patient's allergic and now has a rash."
Oh, bugger. Incident Report Form. Then Adrenaline IM.
(And if I have time, I should say sorry to them.)
Doing nothing well. Making blunders
Survival overtaking hopes of achieving wonders.

But then from a patient I get a smile and a tear
And suddenly it all seems so clear
"Thank you so much Doctor" they remark
"It's just my job" I retort, but inside there's a spark
I am grinning from ear to ear, its the best
Conscience so clean it could pass the UV test