Nights (Social)

Due to my increased need for sleep, I have less time to do social 'things', so email/blog reading/blog posting/telephoning friends/IRC/meeting mates tend to go completely out the window. I'm either too busy feeding/washing myself, or I just can't work up the enthusiasm to reply to 20+ emails. Yes…this is an excuse for my sometimes tardy replies to people
The only people you find yourself meeting are drunks (early in the night), wimps (a little bit later) and pregnant women (in the morning). You also have twelve hours to talk to your crewmate, imagine being around one person for that length of time…you get to know everything about them, and heaven help you if you don't get on with them…

The other people you meet during your nightshifts are the police and the nurses working in the A&E department. If you walk around London, you will often see ambulance and police crews waving to each other – this is because we often get called to the same assault/suicide attempts, and we soon get chatting about how crap our respective jobs are. The nurses in the A&E departments are all married, very busy, and hate ambulance crews because they bring in work. Sometimes, if there is a quiet night you can have a chat with them, and to be honest we are friendly to each other, but it's the same faces night after night – and they tend to be more stressed than us.

After working a set of four twelve hour shifts, the last thing you are thinking about is dating/sex/relationships, and this is why single ambulance staff often have trouble forming relationships. 'Normal people' tend not to understand just how tired you are after working all night, nor that when you get home, all you are thinking about is getting into bed and sleeping the day away.

Tonight I feel particularly aggravated – I've had 2 hours sleep in the past 24, I dealt with whiners all night, I got off late because a child with eczema was 'scratching', and then I cycle three quarters of the way home (3 miles) at a sprint only to realise that I haven't got my door key – thinking they have fell out of my pocket I sprint back 3 miles to the alley I think they must have fell out in, only to find them sitting on a hook at work. One cup of tea later and a very slow ride back home to realise that I'm not going to sleep anytime soon, and my computer's mouse isn't working. Also at work there was some bad news (which I will talk about later, but doesn't involve me directly) and earlier today I was watching an RSPCA advert and found myself crying at it…(something I do when I get tired). I think these 14 nights/lates are gonna kill me, I need a hug and there is no-one to hug me)

Blimey I sound like a teenager!

13 thoughts on “Nights (Social)”

  1. I suspect you're more than able to handle the ups and downs of your lifestyle. It's just nice, during the rough times, to have witnesses — people who can appreciate the sacrifices, the long wide valleys between the peak moments. That's the realistic part of your job, and I thank you for sharing. Get some sleep, after accepting another email hug ((((Tom)))

  2. 'cause you are a doctor, you get paid more and you get to write Dr. on loan application forms…Also I was whiny enough to ask for one…

  3. I like that…sleep, eat, sleep some more, go paddling for salmon, sleep even more, impress lady bear with my…erm…big claws?…Shame I don't believe in reincarnation, but a lovely dream, thanks.

  4. No organisation but the NHS would treat its staff this way: you are being exploited because these people are completely cynical. It makes me angry to think of someone who gives as much of yourself as you do being used like this and if it weren't for people like you the whole thing would just fall apart. Can you imagine a civil service bureaucrat working 14 nights in a row on an LAS salary? If I were in England I would drive to Newham right now and hug you.

  5. Tall and hairy is not good for my hugging needs…but thanks for the thought…And thanks to the 'e-hugs', they are appreciated – last night I found myself hugging my favourite receptionist.

    And to be honest, I'm working 14 shifts because I am a mercenary slut, and am working a couple of overtime shifts. I mean it's not as if it's hard work.

  6. ((((((0)))))) not as good as he real thing but better than a kick in the teeth I hope. Who knows, if there is such thing as a next life you may get lucky and come back as a bear so you can sleep all winter long and get to go out only when the days are brighter. You've earned it.

  7. We've all teared up at RSPCA ads! Poor blighters, I get very distressed by animal cruelty.((((((((((Tom)))))))))) hug from Australia!

    P.S. Live happily in the knowledge that the health system would fall over without people like you who work overtime! Plus I bet your colleagues all think you're a top bloke because you have a good attitude.

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