Dr Kathryn Leask
Getting a few basics right can make your early days of training a little less fraught
The responsibilities that come with being a junior doctor make it all the more important that you are fully prepared. Not only have you got to put into practice all your medical knowledge, but you have to deal with the complexities of working in a large organisation like the NHS.
Here are some essentials which will help to make your new role a little easier.
Get to know your trust's policies
All hospitals will have their own policies, both clinical and administrative. These will include policies on things like confidentiality, infection control and antibiotic use.
It is important to be aware of your trust's policies and also where to find them so that you can refer to them quickly. Most trusts will have policies available on their intranet.
Not following a trust policy, without good reason, could result in disciplinary action.
Keep it confidential
Confidentiality is a big concern in every hospital setting.
You will be given a username and password when you start so that you can access the trust's computer systems, including those for ordering investigations and checking patient results. It is essential to keep your password safe and never allow anyone else to log in as you.
Always make sure you log out every time you leave the computer to stop anyone accessing data under your log in details. Again, allowing others to use your log in is taken very seriously and could result in disciplinary action.
Your life will be made much easier if you establish a good working relationship with the nursing staff as soon as possible.
Don't try to work unsupervised
It is easy and understandable to feel out of your depth when dealing with patients, especially those who are very unwell. You should always be supervised and never left in the situation where you feel that you are working outside the limits of your competence. Make sure you know who your seniors are and how to contact them, especially when you are working outside normal hours.