Saturday, 12 March 2011


It's a scary thing, to be launched into an unfamiliar environment, and expected to function at a high level, to control the team in order to provide the best care for the patient. It's my first day as Trauma Team Leader at the new Major Trauma Centre. I get to come to an Emergency Department (ED) I have never worked in before, with staff who have never met me before, and when a trauma is brought in by the Ambulance Service I get to tell them what to do. All night.

And then the bleep goes off: the first call on my first shift. I have 20 minutes before they arrive, so I get up, get dressed and run down to the ED. The team are assembling, and I start introducing myself. When another member of the team arrives I introduce myself again. And again. And again. There are a LOT of members of this Trauma Team.

Five minutes to go, and my bleep goes off once more: another trauma call, this one in five minutes. So, that means I will have 2 at once. Hmmm.

OK, Plan B. Divide the team into 2 and run between them both. With a set of people who don't know me from Adam.

The first ambulance arrives. I look in delight at a friendly face. "Hello, Mr RRD!" calls out the paramedic. He's one of my locals, bringing a patient from my patch all the way to the Major Trauma Centre, and for my first call. The team looks on as we share pleasantries, along with a handover, of course.

The second crew are from down South, miles away from my home town. So, I was even more surprised to hear the "Hey there, Mr RRD!" from this crew. The para used to be from my patch, but moved about 3 years ago. The Team look on in awe; this new Trauma Team Leader knows EVERYONE!!

Putty in my hands...

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