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Working in Accident and emergency!? watch

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    I just wanted to ask if you know anyone who works in accident and emergency and what they feel about the job! Thankyou (:
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    Are you even at medical school yet? Just wondering, because so much can change in 5 years. It's all very well enjoying fly on the wall documentaries about A&E, but in reality I imagine it's rather different.

    Almost every day there is something on BBC Health website or in the newspapers about failing A&EDs, closing A&EDs, A&E consultants leaving the country due to the terrible conditions etc.

    It's obviously exciting, but incredibly stressful. More so than most specialties, I imagine.
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    (Original post by MedicineFanaTic)
    Hiiiii guys
    ive really thought about what id like to do and ive come to a conclusion that id like to work in accident and emergency. I just wanted to ask if you know anyone who works in accident and emergency as a doctor and what they feel about the job! Thankyou (:
    I'd imagine it will change a lot in the coming years. The current system of staffing it seems to be driving ED doctors away and is pretty unsustainable.
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    What experience does this conclusion come from?
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    My friends in emergency medicine tell me it's a marmite job: love it or hate it.

    Pros:
    Very varied
    Lots of "exciting" incidents to deal with
    A great place to remain "current"
    Get to interact with a wide range of people
    Quite an easy field to move around in.

    Cons:
    Very stressful/pressured
    Quite confrontational/violent at times
    Lots of time wasters
    Unsociable hours (compared to consultant in other fields)
    Not the best training structure.


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    (Original post by Pittawithcheese)
    My friends in emergency medicine tell me it's a marmite job: love it or hate it.

    Pros:
    Very varied
    Lots of "exciting" incidents to deal with
    A great place to remain "current"
    Get to interact with a wide range of people
    Quite an easy field to move around in.

    Cons:
    Very stressful/pressured
    Quite confrontational/violent at times
    Lots of time wasters
    Unsociable hours (compared to consultant in other fields)
    Not the best training structure.


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    Another 'con' might be that it basically encourages you to cut corners as there is no time for wasting. If you want to move into other areas or higher up, you may have gained bad habits as a result. But then, that's just me speculating; I have no ground to stand on really.
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    (Original post by skotch)
    Another 'con' might be that it basically encourages you to cut corners as there is no time for wasting. If you want to move into other areas or higher up, you may have gained bad habits as a result. But then, that's just me speculating; I have no ground to stand on really.
    I expect you're right there. They are selves to the 4hr target too - there is a LOT of gaming, that is to say doing whatever is necessary to ensure a person is no longer "waiting" (on paper at least) by 3hrs59mins....


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    One of the urologists I used to work with said that A&E in England is awful, that they are just general all rounders not really specialised in any one thing. He said they do it much more efficiently in places like New Zealand and Australia.
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    What level are you at currently?

    I'm working in A&E at the moment and counting down to the days I finish! I loved it as a student but as a doctor it's painful... it is like marmite, you either love the pressure of it or you can't stand it. I don't mind pressure, I just don't like being bullied by managers to make decisions about patients in the space of an hour. Yes theres a 4 hour target but if a patients been waiting 3 hours to be seen, you have minutes to diagnose and treat them. It's not hard to make a decision about whether someone should stay in hospital or go home, but to make decisions about the most appropriate treatment takes time. Also I'm doing a training post and I wouldn't say my training has been near enough what it should've been, and it's a problem across the country. The department is short staffed, we are left to clerk mostly well people/old people with social problems, and all the difficult challenging life threatening problems are what the seniors deal with. If you're happy to slog through 5 years of this before you can start to see good stuff then fine, but these 5 years involve very unsociable working hours, mainly working very late hours or nights (you struggle to see your friends/family as a rule), your life ends up being the A&E department and meeting targets... and if you're someone who wants that then sure it's a great job for you.

    My experience of A&E has been very negative, but some that I work with have loved it and thrived from it, not enough to do it as a career but as a placement they really have enjoyed it. I guess the more experience you have of it the better idea you would have of whether it is a career for you or not. Before I started med school and during med school my career choices have changed dramatically to what as a working doctor I have found, probably at large because I've realised my career isn't my be all and end all. A&E is great in that they're seeking people to join, its the most unpopular speciality and they're desperate for people to join. Also once you get to the end the life as it is at the moment isn't so bad, consultants don't do nights (just on calls), you don't do so many unsociable shifts and more office work/admin, you have the chance to do 2 specialities intertwinned particularly if you have other interests (GP & ED; ICU/Anaesthetics & ED)....

    So to summarise after my waffle, experience it yourself before you make a decision to pursue, that goes for anything. Do some work shadowing/placement shadowing, again its different when it's you on the shop floor but it'll give you some ideas. There are loads of conferences and things to attend which are also useful.
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    (Original post by Zafda)
    What level are you at currently?

    I'm working in A&E at the moment and counting down to the days I finish! I loved it as a student but as a doctor it's painful... it is like marmite, you either love the pressure of it or you can't stand it. I don't mind pressure, I just don't like being bullied by managers to make decisions about patients in the space of an hour. Yes theres a 4 hour target but if a patients been waiting 3 hours to be seen, you have minutes to diagnose and treat them. It's not hard to make a decision about whether someone should stay in hospital or go home, but to make decisions about the most appropriate treatment takes time. Also I'm doing a training post and I wouldn't say my training has been near enough what it should've been, and it's a problem across the country. The department is short staffed, we are left to clerk mostly well people/old people with social problems, and all the difficult challenging life threatening problems are what the seniors deal with. If you're happy to slog through 5 years of this before you can start to see good stuff then fine, but these 5 years involve very unsociable working hours, mainly working very late hours or nights (you struggle to see your friends/family as a rule), your life ends up being the A&E department and meeting targets... and if you're someone who wants that then sure it's a great job for you.

    My experience of A&E has been very negative, but some that I work with have loved it and thrived from it, not enough to do it as a career but as a placement they really have enjoyed it. I guess the more experience you have of it the better idea you would have of whether it is a career for you or not. Before I started med school and during med school my career choices have changed dramatically to what as a working doctor I have found, probably at large because I've realised my career isn't my be all and end all. A&E is great in that they're seeking people to join, its the most unpopular speciality and they're desperate for people to join. Also once you get to the end the life as it is at the moment isn't so bad, consultants don't do nights (just on calls), you don't do so many unsociable shifts and more office work/admin, you have the chance to do 2 specialities intertwinned particularly if you have other interests (GP & ED; ICU/Anaesthetics & ED)....

    So to summarise after my waffle, experience it yourself before you make a decision to pursue, that goes for anything. Do some work shadowing/placement shadowing, again its different when it's you on the shop floor but it'll give you some ideas. There are loads of conferences and things to attend which are also useful.
    It's interesting reading your summary. I'm only at the stage of applying to med school, but I am really drawn to emergency medicine as a specialism. I am a police officer at the moment and I see a lot of parity in the roles: chronic understaffing, unsociable hours and dealing with drunken idiots - bit that sort of thing gives me such a buzz and I would love to continue in that environment but from a medical perspective.

    I am often in A&E hen I'm on weekend late shifts, and speaking to the docs there they all say that the training path is hideous though, no standardisation across the country and lots of bureaucratic pressure....


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    I've always loved the idea of acute medicine, and I'm confident that even after medical school I'll be drawn to that or to infectious diseases where I currently work.

    However, I don't think A&E is the right acute specialty for me. You can get lots of the same skills in a much less pressurised environment, with (perhaps marginally...) better working hours and better career prospects. I'd rather work on an acute ward than work in A&E. Then there's other specialties, as mentioned above, that share similar 'emergency' scenarios: anaesthetics, obstetrics, gynaecology, even psychiatry to an extent.

    I'd imagine that's what medical school is truly for, to give you a taste of different specialties and decide which you want to follow (after you've gained the core skills for medicine/surgery). Don't worry about actually deciding on something to follow until you've tried the different options
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    I have stockholm syndrome like feelings when it comes to A&E.
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    In my experience of A&E, the staff generally seem to love the medicine but hate the job.
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    (Original post by shiggydiggy)
    In my experience of A&E, the staff generally seem to love the medicine but hate the job.
    Are there any experiences of hating the medicine, but loving the job? :P
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    (Original post by MJK91)
    Are there any experiences of hating the medicine, but loving the job? :P
    GP.
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    (Original post by Pittawithcheese)
    It's interesting reading your summary. I'm only at the stage of applying to med school, but I am really drawn to emergency medicine as a specialism. I am a police officer at the moment and I see a lot of parity in the roles: chronic understaffing, unsociable hours and dealing with drunken idiots - bit that sort of thing gives me such a buzz and I would love to continue in that environment but from a medical perspective.

    I am often in A&E hen I'm on weekend late shifts, and speaking to the docs there they all say that the training path is hideous though, no standardisation across the country and lots of bureaucratic pressure....


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    Fair enough, I see plenty of police officers that are curious about the world of A&E also, but I'd advise to keep your options open always. Some people want to do nothing but A&E, I know someone who's wanted to do it since pre-med school, and still wants to, but understands it's not as dreamy as Scrubs makes it out to be, so she's opting for a career in both GP and ED...
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    (Original post by Zafda)
    Fair enough, I see plenty of police officers that are curious about the world of A&E also, but I'd advise to keep your options open always. Some people want to do nothing but A&E, I know someone who's wanted to do it since pre-med school, and still wants to, but understands it's not as dreamy as Scrubs makes it out to be, so she's opting for a career in both GP and ED...
    Thanks for your insight :-)


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    The question I'm interested in is, will training in A&E be fixed by the time I have to make specialty applications in 3 years? One of my obs and gynae consultants was quite adamant that things are going to improve markedly in the next few years because they HAVE to get more juniors to choose it, and lose fewer of their ACCS trainees to anaesthetics. Otherwise it all goes tits up, and I doubt there are enough adrenaline junkies willing to do crap jobs for the thrill of it to staff the whole country.

    So what are the solutions? How do they turn emergency medicine into a specialty that people still want to do after they've tried it?
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    (Original post by Fission_Mailed)
    So what are the solutions? How do they turn emergency medicine into a specialty that people still want to do after they've tried it?
    Close the department at 5pm. Done.



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    (Original post by Mushi_master)
    Close the department at 5pm. Done.



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    Kinda defeats the object though...


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