Work, wine and 999.

Phew what a day.  Started work at 8am this morning until 4pm.  I work for the Ambulance service as a 111 call handler.  It has been non-stop today and I am mentally drained.

I only started back in January and I only work the weekends as it fits in nicely with homelife.  I do like my job, and I am hoping it is just because I am new that I am finding it mentally draining.  The majority of patients I talk to are lovely and are appreciative of my help, but you always get the odd one who is just nothing put a pain in the backside.  I wish I could share stories, but due to patient confidentiality I am unable to.  It is such an interesting role, there are never two calls the same.  I do come home with a sigh of relief  though and thank my lucky stars that me and mine are all happy and healthy.  Life is so short and precious and in a job like mine you realise that very quickly.

I do get very annoyed when I read bad articles in the press about the new 111 service.  You only ever hear the bad experiences of people, it seems very unfair.  This is primarily an Out Of Hours Service.  It’s all about getting the patient “the right care at the right place at the right time”.  When a patient calls they have it in their mind what care they want to receive and expect that outcome, however that is not always the case.  We rule out life threatening conditions and situations through a thorough assessment and then find the appropriate care for their present symptoms.  This is where conflict is often met.  It can be quite hard as a call handler to tell the patient that from the information they have given you regarding their symptoms it would be safe to wait to see their own Doctor during normal hours.  This is not what they want to hear, they want to see a Doctor there and then.  It’s so very hard.  As I said, I do hate to see this system put down, it does a fabulous job for so many people and I wish the public could hear more of this.

After today I am due a large glass of the white stuff.  I do like my wine, especially after a day at work.  It helps me unwind and helps me sleep without thinking about patients.  During the week I am fine but of a weekend calls are going through my head….did I do this, did I do that? etc.  It drives me wild.  So glass number two is on the way!