Tinted with a mixture of worry and optimism, this personal account promulgates a sense of hope for an increasingly battered and underfunded health service. They say: "We are large like your father's hands." While individual healthcare workers often enter the profession with the best intentions at heart, their idealism can soon be crushed by the weight of responsibility in underfunded, understaffed hospitals, where speaking up to seniority is equated with blatant disrespect. I felt Rachel Clarke’s pain, frustration, fear and sheer exhaustion throughout the book when she so often found herself out of her depth. How can they still be expected to remain kind and cheerful, and not to break down under the sheer weight of emotion? He tossed back a shot, cleared his throat, and said, "Politics, from the Latin. Her pride in being an NHS doctor shines through the impending tragedy and general miasma of uncertainty that hangs over its future. Her resilience, fortitude and humour are humbling, yet she rejects any notion of 'bravery'. Telling it as it is. Yet, driven by the cardinal threat to their capacity to continue providing the best care to their patients, junior doctors went on strike for the first time in NHS history. Passionate about living life to the fullest, gaining knowledge and experience, as well as travel and adventure There’s an inextricable link between medicine and books. … a decade after we faced the abyss, the compassion and humanity of one NICU nurse remain indelibly etched in my memory. In moments of distress, what patients need most is emotional support, and the smallest of actions from their doctors and nurses can make a huge difference. If you are into politics, Question Time and Parliamentary debates, this book is for you! I have run arrest calls, treated life-threatening bleeding, held the hand of a young woman dying of cancer, scuttled down miles of dim corridors wanting to sob with sheer exhaustion, forgotten to eat, forgotten to drink, drawn on every fibre of strength that I possess to keep my patients safe from harm.'. Knowing that there will always be a system in place to take care of them is a comforting assurance. We know all along that Heidi is going to drown. Overall, the book conveyed some new information and great sympathy for junior doctors but it came from a narrow perspective. While I am personally not inclined to take any sides in such conflicts without a more complete understanding of the situation, I am nevertheless appalled by the Health Secretary’s avoidance of frank conversations with the people whom his policies will most directly affect. Definitions by the largest Idiom Dictionary. This is echoed by 2018 TV programmes like 'Ambulance' and 'Hospital' as well as friends working in high pressurised NHS environments where firefighting is all they are managing to do. Coupled with stories from the trenches, Clarke explores how the NHS struggles to support the people who believe in it so fervently. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Feeling the bird feebly moving in his hands as it tried to escape his grasp, he felt suddenly very ashamed. Over time, such irrational expectations will take a toll on frontline health workers, who are the backbone of the NHS. Let us know what’s wrong with this preview of, Published During the historic junior doctor strikes of 2016, Rachel was at the forefront of the campaign against the government's imposed contract upon young doctors. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Free shipping for many products! In Your Life in My Hands Rachel Clarke talks passionately about life as a junior doctor in the NHS. Now, more than 140 years later, female medical students outnumber men. The health system in the United Kingdom has always intrigued me; it seemed to be the apotheosis of equality in healthcare. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Medical student at the University of Oxford Such a publicly funded system ensures that anyone ill enough to need medical treatment shall not be left to suffer in silence simply because they cannot afford the exorbitant fees. In Your Life in My Hands, television journalist turned junior doctor Rachel Clarke captures the extraordinary realities of life on the NHS frontline. Under such psychological and physical exertion, how can they still be expected to exude confidence and warmth at a patient’s bedside? ", Mixed feelings about this one. The creatures multiply. This review was originally posted on Waterstones.com. This book has also allowed me to see that medicine is essentially inseparable from politics. An unflinching exploration of the various problems that are plaguing the NHS at present. juniordoctorblog. Anne Lamott, the beloved writer of memoirs including Bird by Bird and Traveling Mercies, once said, “You own everything that happened to you.... 'I am a junior doctor. Good read! Yet, according to Lawson, our predisposition to avoid antisocial hours and put family before career means we are more”, “the most frightening experience of my professional life was not those hours spent under fire in Congo’s killing fields but my first night on call in a UK teaching hospital.”. Rachel Clarke. They pick up pens and draw creatures with five feathers on each wing. As a fourth year medical student, I enjoyed this book, even though at times it almost entirely destroyed any motivation I had to carry on in medicine. Originally in journalism, the author Rachel decided to retrain and go into medicine. Therefore, continuing to uphold the values of the NHS while not subjecting its workers to further stress will provide the crucial anchorage for a better future. “The unexamined life is not worth living”. While the political aspects of the junior doctor dispute are riveting and enlightening, the parts of the book that left the deepest impression on me are those in which Clarke recounts the human experiences that have continuously reinforced her faith in medicine and its healing power. A Junior Doctors Story Title: Your Life in My Hands. Your Life in My Hands Author: Rachel Clarke Synopsis Written with intense feeling, this book offers an insight into the direct impact of political decisions on the work and lives of doctors, and the patients they care for. Title: This Life Is in Your Hands: One Dream, Sixty Acres, and a Family Undone Author: Melissa Coleman Genre: Memoir ISBN: 0061958328 Pages: 336 Year: 2011 Publisher: Harper Source: Review copy provided by publisher Rating: 4.5/5. Albeit from a slightly condemning perspective, the candid reflections are deeply moving. Author: Rachel Clarke ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ Rating: 5 out of 5. They are not and should not be treated as working machines capable of withstanding back-to-back overnight shifts with minimal time to sleep, let alone time to spend with family. This book is about deepening doctor-patient trust, in a way that will allow both sides to see that they are essentially in the same fight together. In his Memoirs, Anderson tells about the first reactions to Winesburg, Ohio when it was published in 1919. To me, this is sufficient to evince the enormity of the political decisions that were being made at the time. 'I am a junior doctor. At first, I thought this was way too political for my liking, because I was expecting it to focus much more on the medicine. Her leap from journalism into medicine was influenced by her parents’ background in medicine, as well as the irresistible allure of caring for patients through some of the toughest ordeals of their lives. This shows that medicine can never operate efficiently on an individual level; it takes a well-organised and system to keep the profession going. The answer was indeed in his own hands. Review: Your Life in My Hands: A Junior Doctor’s Story by Rachel Clarke Jeremy Hunt and the BMA come out badly from this NHS memoir, says Phil Hammond. While Clarke’s enthusiasm for her work is infectious, her polemical memoir Your Life in My Hands reveals the gap between those who dream of being a doctor and the real life experience. The seriousness of one public mistake has her life resting completely in one, Emma Swan's hands. Her father’s temperament and compassion towards his patients became a guiding beacon for Clarke’s own journey into medicine. Hands"". It shows that doctors felt that the long-term costs of not voicing their concerns would far outweigh the harm that their momentary absence would cause. I felt Rachel Clarke’s pain, frustration, fear and sheer exhaustion throughout the book when she so often found herself out of her depth. Such an act of compassion filled the wards with a palpable warmth and was especially uplifting for patients who had been forsaken by their families. Unfortunately, such a system is not always easy to run, and it takes extraordinary wisdom and foresight to properly allocate funding, resources and manpower while still ensuring patient satisfaction. However, this descended into an episode of embarrassment, as the ward consultant sternly reproached her and ordered the nurses to erect a portable screen around her. But the repetitive tirade became tedious in book form. Socrates. How can they still be expected to perform delicate operations requiring sharp focus, steady hands and fastidious precision? This was an excellent read. In Chapter 5, aptly titled “Kindness”, Clarke recounts the birth of her son and the vertiginous events that followed as her new-born son began exhibiting signs of seizure. Thoughts from an Oxford Student, Patient-and-Doctor Course Reflection #1: First Time at a GP Practice, First Month of Medical School at Oxford – Honest Thoughts and Reflections, University Life in Lockdown and Self-Isolation, How to Make Aesthetic Notes: A Beginner’s Guide with Pictures, Free Medicine Personal Statement Review – 2021 Entry, Medicine Personal Statement Example (Oxford University). After all, both her father and grandfather both had careers in medicine. This led her to adopt a leading role in the activism against the proposed junior doctors’ contract. When I fall asleep my hands leave me. The goodwill and kindness without which the NHS will not survive are being inexorably squeezed out by underfunding, understaffing and the ever more unrealistic demands placed upon a floundering workforce. A brilliantly written(the author was a journalist before a Dr) and frightening but starkly true picture of the NHS. Stop and think for a moment about the hands you have, how they have served you well throughout your years. I completely understand her desire to leave medicine when she felt she wasn’t doing a good enough job and was letting her patients down. During last year's historic junior doctor strikes, Rachel was at the forefront of the campaign against the government's imposed contract upon young doctors. In the long run, without proper measures to ease the burden on overstretched doctors, patient care will be severely compromised. During last year's historic junior doctor strikes, Rachel was at the forefront of the campaign against the government's imposed contract upon young doctors. It is a very passionate account of the author's medical practice and political activism as a junior… I regarded myself as reasonably empathetic and thought I could imagine what grieving must feel like. I'd encourage anybody to read it, whether you have a medical background or not, especially if you want to truly understand what the BMA/Hunt Junior Doctor scandal was all about. To see what your friends thought of this book, Your Life in My Hands: A Junior Doctor's Story. Whilst it is true that the NHS was not created to deal with the wide range of treatments that are now available, and there are areas of waste, for example in the administration of prescription medicin. 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