What I learnt this week: Is excitement a return on emotional and physical investment? #WILTW

This is the 78th #WILTW

Locally and regionally it has been a tough week for Children’s services. We have not only seen our usual seasonal spike in attendences but a far more virulent strain of parainfluenza (a cause of croup) and high demand for high dependancy and intensive care beds.

The hospital has been full to capacity and this creates a situation where all areas are working flat out to ensure patients are safe and being managed as effeciently as possible. In some respects for those working in emergency and acute care this is ‘our moment‘. At times of crisis we have a body of staff who are trained to manage the most challenging circumstances with professionalism and diligence. While it may be testing, and certainly exhausting, there is an inherent reward in the feeling of a job well done. At some level it must also be enjoyable, even if not constantly so, as otherwise it would certainly not be sustainable.  A degree of pressure releases adrenaline which serves, for short periods, as a drug to get you through the most difficult periods.


I muse on this as I recently picked someone up on social media for describing the performance of a critical intervention on a child as ‘exciting’. This made me feel uncomfortable. I am 100% sure the person was not being gung-ho as the comment was acutally made in comparison to the anticipation felt about a forthcoming event. But while I too have heightened awareness when life saving procedures are needed I am not sure I am excited by it. I have previously described my narcicissm when it comes to emergency care and the positive  nature of the teams of people I work with. I would hope though that the satisfaction derived from performing a technically difficult produre does not interfere with my situal awareness for that patient. This to me is the danger of excitement in clinical medicine. It is a narcotic that could be dangerous. Conversely I recognise the difficulty in semantics and I may simply be over-interpreting a short sequence of words!

What is certain is that at times of greatest demand people need some return on their emotional and physical investment. I am hugely greatful to all the staff I work with for supporting each other through this difficult time. Emergency and urgent care need to be enjoyable, and perhaps indeed an exciting placesto work, as long as that excitement is derived from the passion and adrenaline of the whole environment.

What did you learn this week?  #WILTW


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