Travelling on the job

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It’s been a while since I last posted something and yet, I have already been asked for more content, so thank you for your kind feedback!

This week, I want to talk about travelling on the job, as for me, it is an important part of being a doctor. If you’re like me and need to travel between home and work, there are a lot of things to watch out for:

  1. Time Management

-> if you can’t manage your time well, you can’t travel, it’s as simple as that. You have to work out how much sleep you need (after a long shift), how long it will take for you to get home and back to work  and how long it would take you to get to the hospital if you are on-call and an emergency arises.

If you need help on managing your travelling time and you do not know the area you’re working in too well, set a timer on your phone from start to finish and drive calmly to your workplace. By doing this, in an emergency case, you know you will be able to get to work in at least that time.

If you have done a long shift and are tired, please don’t drive. I have been in many situations where I haven’t been given an on-call room and have had to find other ways to sleep. The cafeteria or staff room are good places just to take a break after your shift, so make sure you take your time. I am lucky, that I have family who can collect me if I am tired, but sometimes I can’t avoid having to travel straight after my shift has ended.

If you know you have to travel then,

2. Pace Yourself.

If you do not pace yourself in a race, you will tire quickly and barely reach the end of the race. Try and prepare to travel, by not stressing too much, running around the place and taking over everybodys jobs. Rather take your time to work on each patient, but try not to overwork yourself! In a hospital environment, depending on the country and department you are in, this can be a difficult thing to do…but you will get used to working in such an environment and learn to pace yourself.

Preparation for travelling is definitely a key part of pacing yourself, as if you are prepared for after your shift, it will be less stress. Make sure your tank has enough fuel, you maybe take a snack or two (if it’s a longer journey) and that your car is parked in an accessible spot, for you to leave work promptly.

3. Travelling with work

There may be times when your workplace needs you to travel to emergency situations, either by ambulance, car or helicopter. Stay calm, there are other people with you, just note that being a doctor is a full-time job, which means that travelling with work (like any other emergency situation) can cause your shift to lengthen. First and foremost is patient care, so don’t work yourself up about travelling, just focus on getting to the patient to help them. Make sure you know the equipment in order to stabilize the patient and stay up-to-date with new procedures and technology. Also I think it wise to note, that ambulances drive extremely fast, so be mentally prepared before you set off!

There are travel opportunities within medicine and you will most likely have to deal with some, at least during your training. Note, that preparation is key and practice makes perfect! Soon travelling will be part of the norm, if you’re as busy as I am!

Bye for now

-Clemens

 

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