I introduced fun to the lives of A&E staff. The laughter was infectious
Emergency departments are challenging places – but if we are to provide good patient care, we must look after ourselves
The emergency department can be a solemn and challenging place: many of the patients we see are scared, vulnerable, upset or frustrated. Demand for the care and treatment we provide has also been rising. I have heard about the impact on colleagues and felt it myself – either in a moment’s frustration or despair during a busy shift, or by reading the research about high burnout rates in emergency medicine.
In 2016, the NHS had a very challenging winter. More people were coming to A&E, and they were sicker and needed more complex care. Working through this led me to ask two simple questions: are our jobs making us sick? And what can I do about it?