Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Wisdom of Admin

Friday was a big day on medical ward. Dr K's team had 12 new overnight admissions, in addition to the 20-ish patients already on the ward. He'd been up all night taking calls and required frequent caffeination. We had to break the news of cancer diagnosis to three different patients. Nobody was well enough to go home, everybody needed new medication charts / cannulae / blood transfusion consents / imaging done and it was all urgent. But we got there in the end.

Then mid-afternoon we realised that Dr K wouldn't be there over the weekend, and the SMO on weekend duty wouldn't know any of the patients either, because he'd had Friday off.

Dr H, the locum who was covering the weekend, asked if I'd stay on if required. Sure. I had other plans but it made sense - I was the only one who knew the patients, and some of them were in a bad way. I'd work the weekend.

But admin looked at their computers, coughed, and said no.

Dr K, the permanent and eminent physician, marched off to request the same.

Admin looked at their computers and offered a wonderful compromise: no, they wouldn't roster the intern who knew all the patients. They dragged a surgical intern, kicking and screaming, to medical ward where he spent all of Saturday begrudging his luck. Then on Sunday they replaced him with a different unwilling victim.

I hope my patients are ok.

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