Diary of a stressed house officer| 5 coping tips. 

Hey guys! How’s it going?

I’m currently in Lagos for just two days. 😦 I wish I could stay longer but i have to go back to work on Monday, yes I’m aware it’s a public holiday but when you’re a Doctor, public holiday is nothing exciting. It’s just another day. Especially if you’re on call, it’s pretty much like a weekend call. 

Anyway, im home and wide awake so I decided to type this post. 


Let’s get right in, shall we?

1. Prepare your mind for the worst. 

I don’t mean to scare you but it works well for me. I prepare my mind for the worst and  nothing can really surprise me anymore. Just know it’s going to be one long year and once you’ve accepted the fact that you’re in for struggle, you’ll be fine.

2. Eat. 

I really have no shame for confidently writing this because I have a terrible eating habit. I go from not eating to binge eating and the cycle goes on and on. It’s very easy to be overwhelmed with work and forget to eat. Yes, I didn’t think it was possible to forget to eat either until I started housejob. Have snacks in your bag. Work can go from zero to one hundred real quick and before you know what’s happening, it’s 8pm and you’ve not had a proper meal all day. 

3. 

Be nice but not too nice. 

I know it’s like I’m contradicting myself but I started house job with the ‘I’m going to be nice to everyone’ mentality and it didn’t take long for me to be like ‘uh fuck it’. Nigerians don’t like nice people. Nigerians respect you when you’re mean and you yell. Sadly. I mean, I’m not saying disrespect anybody but don’t let people walk all over you especially the nurses because they tend to think they know better and they always want you to do what they want you to do but if you really know what you’re doing, they can’t bullshit you into doing anything. Bottom line is know what you’re doing and stand your ground. Respectfully tell them to do their work and do yours. Nurses can be your best friend and your worst nightmare. 

4. 

Don’t forget to read. I can count how many times I’ve opened my book to read. You’ll learn everyday and it gets overwhelming sometimes but get a small notebook and write down things you see/hear/learn so you can find time to go over them. I can’t promise you that you’ll find time. From being on call and not sleeping to doing 5hour ward round to being yelled at. Honestly, all I think about is sleep. I can’t come and die. Housejob kinda makes you better at clinical skills than theory because who has time to read honestly? 

5. 

Rest. Rest. Rest.

I know this might sound like a foreign term to you but you gotta find time to rest. Even if you have to ’tissue’ to sleep. Do what you gotta do smartly. Except you’re ready to overwork yourself and burn out/collapse. I’ve heard stories from people i know and random people of how doctors faint at work from exhaustion. How sad is that? I have friends that have collapsed at work. It’s really not that deep. Do your work but try to rest. If you’re known to do your work well, no one can fault you for taking some time off to rest. I know it’s hard for some people *coughs*. I’m a workaholic and I barely rested these past few months but hey, even if I can’t take my own advice i can help someone out there! 
I hope you enjoyed reading this post. 

Want more tips? 

Drop a comment!

– TOSIN