Roundphobia – Fear or RoundsTemitope Oyetunji
I’ve never fancied ward rounds.
In medical school, I was a back stander on rounds, meaning I mostly stood at the back where I wasn’t visible enough to be asked questions. This worked most times, unless the doctor leading rounds decided to start asking questions from the back.
As a house officer, you could not really stay at the back, because you’re either writing, getting one thing or the other or leading the round yourself.
I became a resident and still did not like rounds. The real reason is because I’m afraid of being put on the spot. I rarely do well when put on a spot, because I need time to collect my thoughts.
Let me give a real life example. It was my Dad’s 75th birthday and we threw him a party. Going by the programme of events, my uncle was supposed to give the vote of thanks. But then he declined and said one of the children should do it. So you can imagine my surprise when the announcer bellowed my name as one to give the vote of thanks with no prior warning whatsoever.
I stood up, walked to the stage, and in less than a minute I was done. I went back to my seat, sat down and began to remember all the nice and wonderful things I could have said.
As a Family Medicine resident in my centre, I don’t participate in rounds because we don’t admit patients. But guess what old friend I met when I resumed this posting? Rounds!!
But now on rounds, I’m rarely the first point of call. There are medical students, then house officers before me. This could be a good thing and a bad thing.
A good thing because at least I have enough time to collect my thoughts before I have to answer, bad thing because if the first points of call do not know the answer, I’m supposed to.
But today I cracked the code on how to deal with fears, after I had to face another fear I would tell you about later. I shared this code with my twitter followers earlier, and now I’m going to share it with you.
There are three ‘easy’ ways to deal with your fears. First is to start doing what you’re afraid of, second is to continue doing it in spite of your fears, and thirdly, don’t stop doing it until you can now do it unafraid.
So ladies and gentlemen, esteemed readers, I’m delighted to announce to you that I’m going to start standing in the line of fire on ward rounds, I’m going to start asking to be put on the spot. I’ll continue doing it in spite of my fears and I’ll not stop until I can stand on the spot unafraid.
You’ll be my accountability partner. And if you’ve been afraid of starting anything and you want me as yours, hit me up in my DMs. Let’s kick fear in the butt.