RMO stands for Resident medical officer. This basically means you reside at the hospital and are on-call 24/7. Starting a new job can be daunting for anyone but starting a new job as a doctor in a new country is even more daunting. I have had many situations that evoke great anxiety and over the years i have learnt to deal with anxiety no matter the situation. However in this particular situation i was really overwhelmed; all the strategies i normally use were not working for me this time.
The only thing that kept me from breaking down is scripture, i was led to very powerful scriptures in the bible that really worked wonders throughout my entire week. My anxiety started with the journey to the hospital, i really dread travelling with luggage by public means. I travelled by train from Aylesbury to Bristol ( the cost of this journey alone made my blood race).
On reaching the train station in Bristol, I was stuck on how to proceed to the hospital. I contemplated calling a taxi but i had no contacts and was weary on spending more money. So using google maps i hopped on the bus that was supposedly headed towards the hospital. I got off the supposed stop and google maps was telling me to walk a small distance to the hospital. I walked, walked until it started raining and i realised that i could be lost. In the midst of my frustration, my colleague who was waiting, decided to give me a call and this was the end of my misery. She sent a taxi to pick me up only to realise the ride was 3 minutes to the hospital and it cost me 8 pounds!!!
I started my job with shadowing. This was supposed to be for a week but due to staff shortage it lasted only 3 days. Weekends are the busiest time for RMOs in this hospital and my shadowing was over the weekend. Looking back I am really thankful that it happened like this because i learnt most of the skills i needed to take me through the next week when i was to work alone. Having concluded shadowing, i started my job on Monday 24th August 2020.
The day started with a doctors meeting where i had to introduce myself and meet the other members of the team. I will never forget this meeting because i remember i left this meeting happier. This was mainly because i felt at home; the meeting had 8 members, 4 women and 4 men.Furthermore out of the 8 members, 4 were international medical graduates and out of these four,3 of us were black African. Now people, there is power in representation, because of this i was represented as not only a woman but as a black African doctor as well.
The RMO main shift in Bristol priory starts at 5 pm and ends at 8 am. During this period you will be called for all sorts of things mainly: prescription refills, changes in patient condition, and the most important of them all is admissions. Admissions in psychiatry are really important as the history is comprehensive and there is a lot of paper work involved. In addition to this, the admitting doctor is expected to take off the patients bloods and do the ECG as well. I need to emphasise this as many IMGs(International Medical graduates) find this annoying because in most countries, nurses do the ECG and bloods, and the role of the doctor is to interpret the result. Therefore be prepared to take off bloods and do ECGs as an RMO.
My first week went by so fast and before i could realise it the weekend was here again. During the first few days i would jump every time the phone would ring, but by the end of the week, my confidence was back and i felt like myself once again. Having concluded the first week and now halfway into my second week, i can confidently say i love my job. Reasons why i love this job is i get to rest during the day( 8am-5pm); in addition not all nights are busy especially during the week i get to sleep through out the night most days so basically I am glad i chose psychiatry.
While at work, I am provided with food and accommodation. This really works for me as i hate daily commutes to work. I will be back again a few months down the road to update you how its going so far as am only covering this hospital for a month. As i conclude this article, i want to encourage all the doctors out there in the process of ” chasing the UK dream” please don’t give up, the journey can get frustrating but the best is yet to come. For the women out there, let nobody ever stop you from chasing your dreams, start late, start scared, as long as you start. And finally I will leave this scripture for those that are going through scary moments; Isaiah 43:1-2. It says” Fear not, for i have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name( Carolyn); you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned, the flames will not set you ablaze.