The reg­is­trar’s view

Irish Examiner - Feelgood - - Cover Story -

Dr Doug Mul­hol­land, spe­cial­ist reg­is­trar in ra­di­ol­ogy at St James’s Hospi­tal in Dublin: “I’ve worked in six or seven dif­fer­ent hos­pi­tals around the coun­try. We’re still do­ing 24hour shifts, which means the fa­tigue el­e­ment is an is­sue for us and adds to our stress lev­els. “Our con­sul­tant col­leagues in ra­di­ol­ogy are very sup­port­ive, although this is not al­ways the case in some other spe­cial­ties, pri­mar­ily be­cause of low staffing lev­els. “Con­sul­tants can­not be ev­ery­where all the time and there are sim­ply not enough of them in the coun­try. “I worked in Aus­tralia pre­vi­ously and there the rate of con­sul­tants to ju­nior doc­tors is much higher, so gen­er­ally the stress lev­els of ju­nior doc­tors are lower. In Aus­tralia, they also don’t work long un­safe hours. “I have a num­ber of col­leagues who have been do­ing reg­u­lar on-call 24-hour shifts who would have burned out and left their par­tic­u­lar train­ing pro­gramme or even de­vel­oped men­tal health is­sues be­cause of the level of stress and the fa­tigue and that is a tragedy. “I’ve seen some re­ally bright peo­ple worked to the bone in other spe­cial­i­ties, pri­mar­ily be­cause of low staffing lev­els. We need to re­struc­ture shift work in Ire­land for doc­tors. “We need more ju­nior doc­tors on the ground and more se­nior doc­tors in hos­pi­tals later in the evenings and at week­ends. “There are of­ten times when you want to split your­self in three to try to man­age the sit­u­a­tion bet­ter. “I’ve been work­ing in hos­pi­tals for nearly eight years. They are ex­tremely stress­ful places to work in and this is not just for the doc­tors but ev­ery­one in the health­care pro­fes­sion. “What we do is a real priv­i­lege and hugely re­ward­ing and can be hugely en­joy­able but the struc­tures re­ally work against it.”

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