Monday, 27 January 2014

The PR

For most people, the term PR usually makes them think of Public Relations. A quite glamorous job involving promoting, organising and generally dealing with quite interesting and/or fun stuff. For athletes their PR might be 6.02 for a 2k in rowing. It's a positive thing, what their best is. It could mean press release, pay roll, or even peer review. But in medicine, these two little letters can strike fear (note not actual fear) into the hearts of all junior medical staff.

For doctors, PR means per rectum i.e rectal exam. Jokes are often made about the gems of this task. It's never a pleasant one. And I'm sure it's worse for the patient of course. No one likes getting their back end investigated, let alone when you're ill. But after the majority of my ward decided to have bowel symptoms, the amount of PRs on my to do list piled up and piled up.

I had an excuse to put them off all day too. First there was lunch, and who wants to do a PR before eating? Then there was letting lunch settle. Before I knew it, it was almost an hour after I was due to finish and I had all these PRs to do. And it's not a line up and poke kind of job. It's a sensitive subject, and should be broached carefully and respectfully. And there's also the unwritten rule that no matter how late you are running, handing over a PR to the doctor coming on shift is just a big no no. So stay late and PR-away is what I had to do.

One of the things I'm most excited about as I progress through my career isn't the increasing wage or responsibility, its being able to delegate horrible jobs like PRs.

So I finally arrived home today, to my beautiful boyfriend and unwell baby girl, for Rob to be overly excited about some PRs of his own - only his were press releases of the Glasgow Film Festival that he was planning to go and see. I'd swap those any day.