Diary…A sideways look at the working week

Monday: Grateful to have survived another morning of sheer lunacy on the M25, I arrive at the hospital. I wonder if those maniac drivers would value life a bit more if they saw what I see on a daily basis? As part of my case load I hold some hospital discharge cases, which is important to me because if I did not, all my cases would have the same outcome. It is also important because I’m part of a team at the hospital, and work alone at the Hospice. The only snag with this is the turmoil of a split-site job: still I always said that I don’t like being bored.

Tuesday: Straight to the Hospice. It’s our weekly multi-disciplinary meeting to discuss the Hospice in-patients, and to plan any discharges. Gales of laughter meet me as I walk to the room, one of the new SHO’s is trying to master the complexity of the overhead projector. The projector, it seems, does not want to be mastered. This is always a long meeting, but gives invaluable insight into the work of my colleagues, and the needs of the client/patient. A member of the chaplaincy also attends the meetings so discussion ranges from the purely spiritual to the distinctly temporal, covering all points between. We are all more than ready for the mid-point coffee break.

Wednesday: Wednesdays always starts with the team meeting at the hospital. The new Mental Capacity Act has taken a lot of meeting time up recently, and is having a real impact upon discharge planning, so there’s lots to say all round. After this, when I don’t have a case to present to panel on Thursday, I plan my work according to need. Today I need to be at the Hospice to see a client who attends day hospice. There is some fine tuning to be done with the package of care in place. We have a discussion and I contact the agency and, hopefully, we have come a step closer towards getting it right. It is often difficult to get the right package of care for people whose health can deteriorate suddenly and rapidly. I just need to be able to respond quickly.

Thursday: Not just one, but two lorries down on the M25! I am glad to reach the peace and quiet at the Hospice. It’s all an illusion, of course, all serenity and unruffled feathers on the top, and little legs paddling like mad underneath. The calm and healing environment is created by a dedicated and committed team of staff and volunteers who do amazing jobs. Today I have three visits, two care-plans to arrange, numerous phone calls to make and respond to, and there’s always the stats to do. Before I know it it’s 6.30 and the stats can wait until tomorrow.

Friday: I’ve blinked and its the end of the week. I’m at the hospital this morning. I need to use the SSD database (don’t have it at the Hospice), as I need to close a case and transfer another to the community team. It’s good to catch up on all the hospital gossip, moan about the parking problems, etc. Then off to the Hospice to check that all discharges are going ahead as planned, I also need to speak to a colleague about the equipment needs of a mutual client. By the time I’ve picked up the post, checked a different set of e-mails (split-site, two different computer systems) and answered a few calls, its time to commence battle on the M25 again. The stats, they can wait until Monday – none of my clients has ever said that they regretted not working more!

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