I arrive at the surgery at 7.45, say hi to the reception staff and head up to my room on the top floor of the building- those stairs help wake me up!
I log into my computer and check for any urgent results which have come in overnight. I will check through a few results and send out half a dozen text messages to patients about their cholesterol or stool sample checks.
I have a quick look through my emails to see if there is anything that needs responding to this morning.
At 8.30 I start seeing patients. One lady needs a few moles checking, a young man has probably got asthma and I talk to him about vaping and smoking. An older lady has lost her husband and we spend some time together talking about how hard things are without him. Between 8.30 and 1 I will see or speak to 14 people. I arrange any tests that need to be done, I write up the notes, dictate any referrals that are needed and will help people book in follow up appointments.
In the middle of this we have a whole team coffee break at 11. This is a vital part of our working day- for doctors it might be the only time in their day that they get to speak to someone who is not a patient! We can check in on each other and ask any questions about tricky clinical situations.
From 1-2 we have a ‘lunch break’ which usually means lunch at our desk while we process script requests and results. We look at letters which have come through from the hospital after appointments with the consultants and action anything that needs doing – for example medication changes. In total today I have processed 56 scripts and 48 sets of results for my patients.
From 2pm today I am one of the duty doctors.
Today there are 2 doctors and 1 nurse practitioner on the urgent team. We work through all the urgent phone calls and face to face appointments. I speak to a man with chest pain who needs to call 999 for an ambulance but ‘didn’t want to bother anyone’ – I reassure him that 999 and the Emergency Department definitely want to be bothered about this! I see a baby with a chesty cough and a woman with abdominal pain amongst dozens of phone calls for advice or reassurance.
I issue urgent script requests and process urgent blood results which have been rung through by the practice.
Over the whole day we have over 100 people to call and see on the urgent list, it can feel never ending and we have to close the list in order to be able to manage it safely.
We also go through the routine requests for appointments- ensuring people have the correct appointment type booked with bloods before hand to keep things running smoothly and efficiently.
After the urgent clinic finishes at 6.30pm I will then spend another 1-2 hours processing scripts, results and letters from the hospital.
I get away by 7.30 – not too bad today- and scoot home to kiss my kids goodnight and collapse on the sofa with my husband. It has been a long day and there have been some tricky moments but it feels like a job well done. Tomorrow is another day and I know I have made a difference to the lives of a lot of people today.