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Hitting a wall

By Bolletje · Apr 7, 2018 · ·
  1. It’s been a while since my last update. I’ve been working really hard (surprise!). Too hard, really. Because of the flu season, a few of my coworkers were sick. Since we’re understaffed already, I ended up covering for two coworkers. Which means thrice the normal amount of patients (and paperwork). I managed, for some time. But then renovations on my ward started. Which means constant noise from construction work, and some nitwit in management decided it was a good idea to close our office on the ward without providing alternatives.

    The stress caused my IBS to act up pretty bad, resulting in a few near-accidents on the bus during my commute. Scared to travel by bus, I decided to take the train instead so I have constant bathroom access. However, the train takes a huge detour, which means getting up at 4AM in order to make it to work on time.
    My stack of paperwork kept growing, my phone kept ringing, and I kept getting more and more non-medical tasks on my plate. I had to prepare four lectures as well. I’m not sure when I was supposed to find the time for that. Long story short: it was too much.

    I kept being pressured by the nurses to discharge patients because of a general shortage of available beds (it being flu season, and most of the ward closed for construction work). I had over 30 patients under my care at some point. I didn’t find enough hours in a day to actually do my work properly, and the stress got to me. What’s worse: I wasn’t able to guarantee good medical care. I rushed by my patients during rounds in order to get my work done in time. I didn’t have time to examine them all, nor did I have time to talk to them all. Being pressured to discharge patients, I let a few people go home because they wanted to, when medically, I would have preferred they stay longer. But I didn’t have the energy or the time to argue with the patient, and the nurses (who had already prepared discharge papers). Feeling like I wasn’t giving my patients the best medical care caused even more anxiety.

    So, I called in sick. I was upfront and honest to my boss about why I chose to stay home. I got a week off. I chose to prolong that week, but management was not amused. I will be going back to work on Monday after two weeks at home. I don’t really feel like staying home has done me a lot of good. I’ll be talking to management on Monday to see what can be done to reduce my stress. Working four days a week would be a good start, but it wouldn’t change the amount of stress I’m under while at work. I would love to be excused from non-medical tasks and lectures, but I don’t think my boss will go for that. If no changes can be made, I’m afraid I’m going to have to quit this job. While I love my work and my coworkers, my health comes first. And my health is suffering right now.

    About Author

    Dr Bolletje MD (not my real name), 33-year old (my real age though). I'm a potato chip enthusiast, amateur writer, avid dancer, cat lady, music fanatic and plant kween.
    Kirsty, Sabrina and LucyPurrs like this.


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  1. Tom
    That sounds incredibly difficult, for anyone, NT or Aspie. As you know, in the long run sustainability is the key issue, not salary or titles, etc, etc. It sounds like they must accommodate you to a large extent or loose you. That is their call. If they want to keep you they very well may. Be clear that that doesn't mean 5 days of work crammed into 4. Its the workload probably much more then hours causing the problem.
  2. LucyPurrs
    Wow, it'd be hard for anyone to cover 3 physician's worth of patients let alone do all the non-medical work they are putting on you. Sounds like they are taking a risk doing that to any doctor. They need to prioritize while so many physicians are out ill. I'm sure you've thought of all this but have you reminded them of these things? You health is paramount because without it you can't help anyone no matter how good a doctor you are!
      Kirsty likes this.