Junior doctors share tips on preparing for the long shifts ahead


  • Dawn O'Shea
  • UK Professional News
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Junior doctors are sharing practical tips online in preparation for the long shifts ahead, as the numbers of cases and deaths continues to rise.

A tweet from a junior doctor in Wales went viral after she suggested an over-night supply box for colleagues who may be too exhausted to travel home.

Last winter, when the NHS was under buckling pressure and staff were sometimes too tired to travel home, Dr Josie Cheetham, Chair of the BMA Wales Junior Doctors Committee (JDL), came up with the idea of a Too Tired To Travel Home (T4H) box. It contained supplies typically needed after/between work shifts, when staff unexpectedly need to stay on site between shifts. The T4H box includes items such as antiperspirant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shower gel, eye masks, and ear plugs.

“My hope was that the box [would] allow doctors to meet personal hygiene needs & rest well despite their unplanned stay on site,” she said. She is calling on others to set up their own wellbeing boxes for NHS staff in their local hospitals.

Others followed suit with more ideas.

@marcuswquinn said neck pillows for taking a nap in a chair would be number one on his wish list when working crazy hours. Blankets too. His advice is to prepare as you would for a long-haul flight.

Commenting in the thread, Dr Philip Banfield, Chair of the BMA Welsh consultants committee tweeted: “There’ll B a need 2 rally round & care 4 each other like never B4. Staff need looking after - proper food & fluids 24/7; rest facilities; care 4 kids. Society will rally round those needing 2 self isolate. Humanity will B tested - we R 1 race & will get through this together.”