As a doctor working in a hospital, it is common to undertake shift work and do nighttime and weekend on calls as part of your job. Of course, this is necessary to provide a viable and functional healthcare service. However seven in ten doctors never have rest time after a busy night on call.
A BMA article rightly points out that this kind of work pattern is dangerous. The danger is two fold:
- Patient safety is compromised – when a patient is attended by a doctor so exhausted from working two days straight, is it any wonder that accidents happen?
- Doctors are more likely to suffer from chronic fatigue and burnout – again, this is not surprising. Performing to a high standard (lives are at stake) continuously in a high pressure environment is bound to take its toll.
Whilst having an on-call rota means that you may not always be called into hospital, it is certainly a distinct possibility; and you will not be given the opportunity to get unbroken sleep necessary for your body to rest and recuperate.
Once again, it demonstrates the lack of focus that the NHS places on the wellbeing of their staff.
So, doctors you need to take responsibility of your own wellbeing. How are you going to do that?
Everyone’s answer will be different – whether it is regular yoga, meditation, a relaxing holiday for two weeks. Find out what works for you.
More ideas for wellness will be presented at our Alternative Careers and Wellbeing Event. Hope to see you there!