It’s changeover day on Wednesday. I went to the supermarket after work today, and almost without thinking about it I did the sort of grocery shop you do when you’re about to go onto a run of nights. I haven’t done nights since the Commonwealth Games, but in my new job I’m starting on Team Nightshift.
In this job, as a trainee, a year is a long time to stay in one place. I’ve been here through the FY1s and SHOs switching jobs in December and again in April, and through the registrars changing over in February. And now that everyone is moving again, it’s time for me to go too.
People keep asking if I’m looking forward to leaving, which isn’t a question with a straightforward answer. I’m looking forward to starting my new job, but I’m not exactly looking forward to leaving this one. I’ve grown comfortable in it where I am. It’s been a long time since I’ve been the new girl; even on my weekend locums, it’s mostly been going back to jobs that I’ve done before and places where I’ve been remembered. I’m going to be brand new on Wednesday, in a hospital and a department that I’ve never worked in before, and, due to rota complexities, am going to be brand new all over again next Monday. My most oft uttered words for the next fortnight are going to be a variation on, “where are the venflons?” or maybe, “where are the toilets?”.
This time of year is weird for more than just the FY1s.
The job I’m going to is the beginning of the training post that I wanted all along. It will be good for me, and it is the next step in the journey of what I really want to do with the rest of my life.
My gap year came on me unexpectedly, taken for geographical reasons rather than career reasons. I’ve learned a lot about haematology and developed a lot of transferrable skills; I’ve passed two parts of my MRCP, I’ve audited some things, some of them important things; I’ve worked with some brilliant people; I’ve run a marathon; and I think, maybe, in a roundabout sort of way, I’ve figured out what I do want to do with the rest of my life. Not a bad year for a year that I hadn’t really been looking to take in the first place.
The first Tuesday in August is always a bit bittersweet, I think. I’ve liked this job and I’ve had a long long time to get settled in it, and that makes it just that bit more unsettling than usual. But it’s time to move on.
“Scarecrow,” said Dorothy. “I think I’ll miss you most of all.”