The Instructions Will Kill You

“You will be part of the crash team and if you are the first on the scene will need to lead the cardiac arrest scenario”

“You will be involved in the major trauma calls and carry out procedures such as chest drains etc.”

“If a patient turns violent then you must press the panic button and shout for help”

When you’re a doctor, you get sent instructions before you start work which tell you how that department works.

I hate these packs.  Mainly because you’re already freaking out about going to a new department and scared about your unconscious incompetence which might kill someone.  Then you get a set of instructions which tell you that your gut instincts were right and you become acutely aware of a whole host of conscious incompetencies!

The funny thing is when you start that dreaded rotation you’re surrounded by people just like you saying things like “it’s not as bad as I thought it would be!”.  All of a sudden you can start to lose yourself in the job and the moment and just be a doctor.

Recently a young girl joined myself and the rest of the paediatric team on the wards.  She may soon be applying to medical school and started asking the team whether it’s worth all that hard work to get to where we are.

I thought to myself “should I give her a set of instructions and likely destroy her morale, or should I just tell her that only she can decide”.

I didn’t give her the instructions.

She has the privilege of finding out for herself without letting her unconscious incompetencies stifle her obvious intelligence and spirit.



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