Today newly qualified doctors are starting their first day on the hospital wards across the country. They have worked their socks off to get to this point. Studying since school to consistently get top grades, produce well rounded CVs and grow into young adults, they have invested a minimum of 10 years already into becoming doctors. Their real work starts now.
I remember my first day. I didn’t sleep the night before with anxiety. I had never felt anxiety like that. The thought of someone’s life in my hands (even though I knew that’s what doctors did) was terrifying. My friends and colleagues were the same. I had great supervisors and mentors though who held my hand through it. This shaped my journey into a positive learning experience. I had some horrid seniors too and I swore I’d never grow up to be like them.
It’s important to never forget our time. We must support and nurture our juniors because ultimately their experiences are our responsibility.
For all new docs out there today - good luck and welcome to team #NHS. It’s normal to freak out over everything. It settles down, I promise.
In the meantime my top self-care tips for you are:
1. Keep breathing (honestly, keep breathing)
2. Drink plenty of water throughout your shift
3. Moderate the caffeine intake as it makes nerves worse
4. Eat!!!!!! Take snacks with you. Make time for lunch.
5. No question is stupid. It will be stupid if you ask it in 5 months time. Ask LOTS of questions.
6. Pee!! Everything except a cardiac arrest can wait 2 minutes for a loo break.
7. Enjoy it. It’s an incredibly rewarding job. You’re finally getting your chance to make a difference so you must own it. You know your stuff, enjoy this time.
If you don’t care for yourself you can’t care for others. It’s a vocation, you need to remember that so avoid burnout now by taking care of yourself from day 1.
Good luck to all doctors today. I’m sending out positive vibes.