Minimalist Blogging #3

You’ve got to be careful in this job, because the thought that will keep you lying awake at night covered in a thin film of sweat is simply this,

“Any action, inaction or wrong action tomorrow at work may well mean I kill someone”.

I suspect doctors have this a lot worse than us ambulance people.

5 thoughts on “Minimalist Blogging #3”

  1. But being a doctor is usually more of a team sport – we're almost never going to find ourselves on our own like an FRU jockey is. Having other doctors and nurses around is back-up.

  2. I always imagine air traffic controllers have these thoughts too. Anyone able to confirm or deny this? I would hate to have to do that job…I'm sure I would have no natural aptitude for it and I may imagine it's harder than it is. It looks *terrifying* to me. Glad somebody does it! And you Reynolds…a different sort of worry but no less intense.

  3. Tom, I am a Respiratory Therapist and do a lot of things that only nurses and doctors do over there. Like intubations, vent care, arterial line insertions, etc. I have actually gone back to the hospital to make sure that I did what I thought I had done. Quite a bit of what we do is routine (like breathing treatments and setting up 02) I would start thinking….'did I do that today or yesterday? Did I put him on oxygen or was in air?'Got to learn to deal with it, it does not go away. And, do we want it to?

  4. Surprisingly not actually. I can only speak for myself, but I tend not to think of my charges as aluminium tubes full of pink bodies. To me, they're just a blip on a screen among many other blips. The game is to keep the blips separated by a healthy margin. And it is a game. One where you only have one 'life' and the consequences of loosing don't bear thinking about, but a big video game none the less. We are always aware of the hardware up there, performance characteristics is what we need to think about. But the people inside? No, I think a controller should think about a career change if he stays awake all night worrying about little pink bodies. It's not conducive to flight safety.As for the aptitude, well a series of tests and interviews will discover whether you have it or not. It's all about being able to see a 3D picture on a 2D screen. Being able to think upside-down and inside-out. Being able to multi-task and prioritise, without loosing 'the big picture' and being able to see into the future. Not too far though, just about five minutes of track prediction in your head is all that is needed. And that is the best part of the job for me, I don't have to think more than five minutes ahead. No dead-lines that are weeks away. I can go home at the end of a shift and relax, because tomorrow is a clean slate. Much like ambulance work, I would have thought.

    [Fig works at the London Terminal Control Centre in West Drayton]

  5. Thanks Fig! That was really interesting and answered a lot of questions I had in my mind. I'm still glad you do your job (rather than me) and I'm still glad Reynolds does his. I'll stick to mine!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *