My job is like a plate of Oysters
01 Dec 2017
Last week, I was lucky enough to have a meeting with our Acting Director of Patient Care. We spent well over an hour having a really interesting chat about the trust and the NHS as a whole. I want to share with you some snippets of what she said that really stuck with me.
“I always make sure that when I end my working day I know exactly how I’ve improved patient care in that day.”
I found myself thinking about this a lot well after the meeting had ended because in Management roles I think it’s easy to feel detached from patient care. We’re not directly helping patients to feel better and go home so it’s harder to identify exactly how we are helping. This makes recognising achievements in the working day even more important because it helps to keeps you engaged. Particularly as trainees we can spend so much time focusing on how much we have to learn that we can lose sight of the bigger picture. So for example, yesterday I attended an RTT meeting to troubleshoot why some patients were waiting longer than they should for their treatment and what we could do to prevent this from happening. From this meeting I arranged for consultants from a nearby hospital to carry out adhoc clinics at the weekend to help to reduce our waiting times. That’s not a big job and I haven’t directly given any clinical care but hopefully I’ve made it easier for a handful of patients to be treated in a timely manner.
“I think of my job as a plate of Oysters because the world is my Oyster but I don’t know if I like Oysters.”
Now this might sound strange but let me explain. As Acting Director of Patient Care the woman I was speaking to could someday have the opportunity to become a permanent board member (you could say, the world is her oyster). However, she’s never been on an executive board so how does she know she’ll enjoy that role (how does she know that she likes oysters)? I can relate to that, being on the scheme feels like the world is our oyster and that is exciting! However, how do we know that we’ll enjoy the fast paced, sometimes stressful environment that comes with the job description? I’ve thought about it a lot and the only answer I can come up with is, we don’t know. But the fact that I want to be part of improving patient care and I enjoy a fast paced environment means that with any luck I’m in the right place.
Hopefully that’s given you some food for thought when it comes to your applications and your motivations for applying. Applications have closed now so good luck!