When I was working in Dubbo base hospital, I was happy that there was some really good teamwork happening, and it was nice to have specialist back-up in critical care situations. In my week there I needed to call in back up on two out of my seven nights. On one night I called in one of the most supportive bosses around in my opinion, Rose Ly, to help with the intubation of post arrest patient, and on another night I had the help of the ED director, Randall Greenberg who supported me through one of my most difficult shifts to date in managing a busy ED department on top of a motor vehicle accident and trauma. In addition to getting senior support, it was really good to work with great staff, and as usual I come away form a locum with having met some fantastic people. One of the doctor I was lucky to work with a great bunch of people, starting with being greeted by an old buddy from Wellington, NZ, who happened to be on the floor when I turned to work for my first shift– who was none other than the quietly famous Ken Looi (ED doc by night, and Unicycle world champion by day, just incase you didn’t know). I also worked with some great doctors in the ED, including but not limited to Dave my co-night doctor, and the dream team who helped out in a big way on the busiest night of the week when there was also a motor vehicle trauma. Craig, Renuka, and Rafi stayed on well beyond their shift break to keep the patients treated. Als the other specialities really pitched in, especially Jane the med reg, and the entire surgical team who were up all night. Whilst it was another non-stop night, it was good to know that everyone was part of the team, including a very friendly ward clark who I promised to email this article to when I eventually wrote it. The nurses were great too, and Mel and Sue were the two in-charge night nurses kept me in order – and I repaid the favour with a dish of guacamole on my last night.
And finally I have to mention a particular senior nurse called Rose who made my day by saying to me at the end of shift in a kind and sincere way, “You did well, and I really enjoyed working with you, I hope you come back!”. Often the end of your shift a the end of 6 in a row is when you feel like crawling into a ball and going to sleep – so thanks Rose – you’re a star in my books! And thanks alos to everyone else!
Emergency health care in the public eye
Whilst in Dubbo I met friend called David Ward who was quite passionate about giving positive feedback about hospital services that looked after and cared for his wife and premature son in an emergency situation (see newspaper article). As David and I discussed over coffee one morning, when it comes to health care, and particularly “emergency work”, it is easy to focus on what is not happening when things rarely go wrong, rather than what good is actually being done a daily basis. Whilst it is so imporant to study error, (one of the things that has motivated me into the field of medical education) it is also important to be aware of the other side of this, which is good health care delivery that occurs on a regular basis. It is easy to loose perspective of this, particulalry under sensational reporting, and I guess this situation is partly a result of lack of positive feedback – which is in a way what this post is all about!