This article has been on the burner for some time now. However, given all that is happening, there has never been a more appropriate time to release it than now. Many of us are working harder and in some cases longer hours during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Thankfully, there has been a focus on self-care and various apps such as Headspace and Sleepio have offered free use till December for NHS staff.
We all know what it feels like when you are having those 'bad mornings', it usually starts with your alarm not going off, missing your train by 2 minutes, arriving at work and you have an array of IT difficulties, such as your computer crashing mid consult. Here are 5 top tips we feel are essential to starting your morning right as a GP registrar.
1)Leave yourself enough time to settle in: Practical way to achieve this, is to arrive at work 20 to 30 minutes before your start time.
Firstly, it gives you time to find your Zen before the hectic day begins. You might be wondering what you might to do fill the time. My morning routine usually involves saying a brief good morning to any practice staff who might be in, checking my pigeon hole and checking the room I am allocated to. I usually like to login into my computer, whilst doing other things because there is nothing worse than putting your smart card in 3 minutes till your clinic starts and then realizing the IT system has gone on holiday.
2)Lay your equipment out.
By equipment, we mean the things you are likely to need over the course of the day. This varies from person to person. Now that seeing patients face to face has greatly reduced, the main things you might be likely to need include: putting blood form paper into the printer, ensuring your printer has paper, useful info on changes to referral pathways, ensuring you have a steady supply of working pens and sticky notes and telephone headset if you have one. Previously when face to face was taking place the desk would be filled with things like : a stethoscope, oxygen sats prob, blood pressure monitor, temperature probe, swabs and ensuring you have testing sticks in your urine dipstick container.
3)Open up all the pages you are likely to need access to:
This sounds obvious but some pages need an additional login and it seems that when you most need it, that’s when things seems to move slowly. Some of the pages I like to have open include: NICE CKS, GP Notebook and local guidelines using the intranet ( this can be tricky to find sometimes, so it might to be worth setting as a favourite). I also find it helpful to ensure my Docman is set up correctly and now that we are sending texts to patients more often make sure you login to AccuRx/ the service you use to send messages. It can be helpful to also check your tasklist to ensure that nothing has come in over night, which may be relevant to the patients you will be seeing that day.
One of the things I do in the 30 minutes before I start my shift includes making a cup of tea and filling a glass of water on my desk. For some it might be better to have a water bottle, or if your feeling brave you might put two glasses of water on your desk. The truth is when you are in the full swing of your list or if you happen to be running behind, it can feel difficult to pop out to get a glass of water. However if you can make time to leave your leave, this is always preferable , as it gives you a chance to stretch your legs.
5)Have a brief read of the reason for your patients’ consultation and last few consultations prior to your appointment with them.
Remember this might not always match the patients consultation, so it can be really helpful to check you are both on the same page to begin with. There are a number of reasons why there my be a mismatch, it could that it is a sensitive matter and the patient didn’t feel comfortable explaining the entirety of the issue to reception staff.If it is an issue relating specific part of anatomy i.e back pain, for some patients this could actually be shoulder pain. It is worth bearing this in mind especially with telephone consultations, where you don’t have the luxury of asking the patient to point to the area they mean, though this might be easily fixed via a video consultation.
We hope you are all remaining safe during these testing times. Remember, to give our best to our patients we have to remain well and take care of ourselves also. Therefore it is essential to take time to rest, reflect and re-energize.
Best Wishes as always.
Till next time, from the team at MR Revision.
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