Wednesday, 21 Nov 2018

I had to quit my hospital job when I resented patients who got better

I couldn’t watch people get the all-clear after my mum was diagnosed with terminal cancer in my department

Working in waiting list administration can bring its fair share of bad days. Bed shortages, disgruntled patients, irritated clinicians and cancellations make the job a fast-paced, high-pressure juggling act. I’d worked in a waiting list office for four years, booking thousands of outpatient endoscopic tests, and thrived on the chaos. That was until 5 June 2012, when I encountered my worst day at work when my mum was diagnosed with cancer in my department.

Mum had been suffering from stubborn indigestion for a few months which wasn’t eased by medication. She’d lost a little weight and was lethargic but downplayed her symptoms. I couldn’t shake a nagging feeling that something was seriously wrong so I pressed her to go back to the GP to seek a referral to endoscopy, partly for my own peace of mind.

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