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Things that annoy me at work

Updated: Apr 2, 2021

So, let's face it. We all have times where we get annoyed by the tiniest things working as a doctor. Here I will share some examples.


The "fast" bleep - No, not the kind for emergencies, the one where you get bleeped, you happen to be near a phone, you ring back within seconds and the destination is busy. Why bleep if you are going to call someone else immediately?

The "urgent" discharge letter - There are NO urgent discharge letters. A case may be made for end-of-life patients for fast-track discharge home but in the majority of cases, it is just the bed managers pressuring the staff to create bed space. Do not get reeled into doing this if you have something more urgent to attend to. Put patient safety first.

The lengthy referral - The wait to make the referral, rather than the actual discussion itself. This is more of a pet peeve than a fault of the system. I can't stand the generic tune they play when putting you on hold, especially when making urgent referrals to your local tertiary center. I understand they are extremely busy, but I have my agenda too. Well, rant over, I don't have a practical solution for this off the top of my head anyway.

The backstab - When nursing staff bleeps you several times without answer, and they document that you did not reply. Most of the time I am in teaching, and there was once where I was on annual leave. I don't believe there would be any repercussion for this if it was investigated thoroughly. But the thought that it could potentially come back to bite me, scares me.

The "difficult" patient - I enjoy seeing complex cases, I enjoy having challenging discussions with the patient and their family. What constitutes a difficult patient for me, is mainly the ones who get rid all your previous efforts. Like literally removing the cannula, catheter or NG tube you spent a good amount of time inserting. I understand from their perspective it was uncomfortable for them and they don't mean to undermine my work at all, but my heart still sinks every time I am bleeped back to re-attempt the insertion.

Phew, I managed to get some negativity off my chest for a while. There are few other instances which ticked me off, but it feels inappropriate to share due to how sensitive it can be. I may come back and comment/update the post in the future if I encounter more annoying things in the future.

Please leave a comment below on what things annoy you as a doctor.

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