For every post I’ve published on here, there’s one that I’ve drafted and then forgotten about.  This is one such post, from Feb 2014, when I was right in the middle of my pre-reg.  I was at a bit of a low ebb and I think I ultimately decided not to post it because there was nothing positive at the end.  Another unpublished post is entitled “Feeling Overwhelmed”, from a couple of months later, which shows this feeling wasn’t just a one off.  I continued to be exhausted and over stretched for the remainder of my time there.

I think I mentioned this before but I work long days.  I start at 10am and finish at 9pm.  For the last few weeks, I’ve been testing most of the day and I’m exhausted.  Even the days where the clinic looks empty, we have an endless parade of patients who just wandered over on the off chance that we had an appointment free.  I would even go so far as to say that some people get their eyes tested because they are bored.

One lady (in her seventies) came in the other day because her friends had cataracts and she wanted to see if she had them too.  She last had an eye test in 2005.  She prefaced the eye exam with “I’m not going to buy glasses” and then proceeded to tell me that her neighbour bought some expensive specs a few years ago and then went blind so she’s been using her neighbour’s glasses.  This woman was slightly long-sighted in one eye and short sighted in the other.  She basically had her own, built-in monovision.  After spending ten minutes telling me her life story and refusing to be steered back to history and symptoms, she then looked at her watch and said “will this take much longer? I have to pick my grandchildren up from school”.  Oh, yes, and she did have cataracts.  And no, she didn’t want glasses that were her proper prescription, instead preferring to keep using the blind neighbour’s ones.

Some days things just pile up until I still find myself at work at 9.30pm, trying to catch up with all the discarded NHS forms, the referrals or the rest of the administration minutiae that seems to be part of the job.  At the same time as having to keep on top of my growing pile of paperwork, I have to help out on the shop floor because we seem to be permanently understaffed.  So I’m pre-screening and dispensing and answering phones and fielding questions and trying to meet the targets that have been set by our pre-reg co-ordinators.  It’s a tremendous amount of pressure on top of what is an already stressful year.  I’m a perfectionist and I find myself constantly frustrated because instead of doing one thing at a time well, I seem to be doing three things at a time and just getting by.  Any mistakes I make are then highlighted but, instead of thinking about what can change to help me, I’m told simply not to make any more mistakes.

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