It is fun to have a goal and fun to do your best in every part of your job. I have recently been all about inspiring loyalty and building my team. I think I have achieved that; the first day my FY1 seemed irrate that she didn’t leave at 4pm, her paid finish time. I’ve made a huge effort to make her feel valued, supported and taught her as much as possible. Today when I offered to let her go at 4pm and do the ward round alone she declined, seemingly horrified that I might go round without her.
How have I achieved this miraculous turn around? Dead easy; I’ve listened to her, bought her coffee, remembered her name, her boyfriends name and been available and listened to her every time she has called. I’ve involved her in a project, sorted out some meetings she might like to attend, asked about hobbies and interests.
Why haven’t I done this every time I’ve had a new junior you may ask? Well, it’s because I am only now secure and relaxed about how I do my job, how to run the ward, how to look after sick people how to organise myself etc that I am attending to these other “extras”.
I have also embarked on some audits. One audit is hugely dull and to do with post operative management, the other is much more fun. In part it is inspired by Kate Grainger and her “hello my name is” campaign as it really shouldn’t be just patients that we introduce ourselves to but our colleagues as well.
So far senior colleagues are not coming out of this well, consultants seem to think we should know who they are already. Radiology are the worst offenders for this and so far 80% of radiologists have failed to say their name when my “audit data collector new person” pops down to arrange a CT and introduces himself. Poor show from the doctors of darkness, perhaps it’s a deliberate ploy, if we don’t know your name how can we hate you?
I have always been keen on being easily identifiable and I like to write in the notes my name, pager and designation as well as who the consultant on call is that I am acting on the behalf of. This seems to be a rather old fashioned quirk of mine and none of my colleagues do this anymore.
Introducing yourself and being polite is not weak, it isn’t “inappropriately friendly” it is good manners and common sense. I don’t believe that anyone in another profession would be so rude. I don’t think that this is a quirk of Bighospital although Bighospital is big and therefore unfriendly, as it happens in other hospitals too.
I have decided that instead of getting pissed off at core trainees that can’t diagnose appendicitis in children and FY2’s who forget to prescribe the gentamicin I am going to focus on their non medical skills. I want them to be polite, to know the names of the nurses, the pharmacist and the medical staff and to make Bighospital a nicer place to work.
It’s taken me rather long to reach this basic conclusion. I didn’t know that I had the power to change it and that I could lead by example.