Reflecting on my past two years working as a doctor I’ve realised how important your team is. A supportive team can make or break your work environment. I am especially thankful for the lovely nurses, fellow junior doctors, and education coordinator I’ve had over the past two years.

Working as a doctor can be challenging, often the greatest influence on whether you enjoy your day is the people surrounding you. I decided to write a bit about my own experiences over the years and how important small moments of kindness were for me.

Over the years

Kind seniors and great fellow junior doctors

My first term as a doctor was scary. Nothing can truly prepare you for actually caring for real patients, yet I consider myself so lucky to have had great senior doctors and amazing co-workers. Having such kind seniors when I was so green helped ease me into a stressful new environment.

Lovely nurses

My next few terms had their fair share of challenges. I was sent last minute to a term that is only meant for more senior doctors. It meant that I was left to my own devices for up to 4 days a week. It can be so challenging dealing with medical issues without seniors around to help, and I often had to deal with aggressive patients alone. The lovely nurses of the operating theatres and outpatient clinics saved me during those months. They would sneak me chocolates, make me cups of tea and give me hugs. I couldn’t have made it through the term without them.

I then had another tough moment where a manager yelled at me and humiliated me in front of multiple staff members. The nurses on this unit rallied around me and really stood up for me. It was so nice to know that they had my back and supported me. All of them said that the manager’s behaviour was wrong, and vouched for my work ethic.

My intensive care term was another term that highlights the importance of nurses as a support team. They’re all so experienced and knowledgable. They were happy to help, and were always there when I had questions. It was reassuring to have senior nurses around to teach you .

Photo by Dayne Topkin on Unsplash

Every small act of kindness makes a large impact

Once I had just finished an extended shift in the operating theatre and was walking back to the ward to complete my jobs. As I was walking there I had this huge back spasm and one of the nurses saw me and came to ask if I was okay. They got me to sit down and gave me a heat pack. It really meant so much to me that they cared, and checked in on me.

Acts of kindness like this make all the difference.

I believe health care workers can create better outcomes when they’re happy and supported.

So even if you’re struggling or not in a great head space, smiling at someone or getting a co-worker a cup of coffee can make someone’s day. Let’s be kind and aim to create a nurturing work environment. The change starts with the individual.

Feature Photo by Mei-Ling Mirow on Unsplash