Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Early mornings

5:20am - The first of my alarms goes off.  I have two alarms, as there is always the possibility that I sleep through one when it is that early in the morning.
5:30am - I am washed, dressed, and in the kitchen.  I switch on Radio 4 and catch the end of the shipping forecast.
5:31am - I make myself a cup of tea and put on the coffee machine.  The tea gets sipped now and the coffee goes in a flask for later.  I listen to News Briefing and stare into space for a few minutes as I listen to the soft bubble and drip of the coffee machine and the state of the world this morning.
    Tea for now, coffee for later
5:35am - I start to make my packed lunch and packed supper for the day ahead.  It would be so much easier to throw money at the problem than prepare two meals at 5:35 in the morning but:
a) I am poor - I have no money to buy sandwiches 
b) I have only a half hour break and work on the 14th floor of a massive hospital...if I attempted to buy sandwiches in my lunch hour I'd be still in the queue for the till when I was due back on the ward.

Packed lunch + packed tea


So I make packed lunch and packed tea.  Both of them substantial, because I can never be entirely sure that I will get both my breaks.  If a patient suddenly deteriorates, then your half-hour supper break is not the ward sister's priority.

5:45am - Farming Today comes on the radio, and I know that I need to finish faffing around with my lunch and supper and make some breakfast.

5:50am - I don't want to eat breakfast at this time in the morning, but I make myself, because I might not get another chance to eat until 3 or 4pm, and patients don't need nurses who are delirious with hunger.  I usually have a bowl of oats and dried fruit that has been soaking in milk overnight, mixed with yogurt, and some chopped fresh fruit.

6:00am - The Today Programme starts and I need to finish up breakfast and pack my bags.  Clean uniform and my portfolio of achievement in one bag, food in another bag.

6:12am - I switch off Radio 4, am out of the door and walking to the station.

Walking to work 6:15am  

Walking to work 6:15am

6:28am - I get on the train.  Standing room only.

6:50am - I arrive at the hospital and make my way up to the 14th floor.

7:15am - I am in my uniform, hair tied back, make-up on, food for the day stored in the staff fridge.  I make my way to the handover room, and start taking notes from the big whiteboard about which patient is in which bed.

7:30am - Handover from the night staff begins and I start my shift.


10 comments:

  1. I've been up at the same time as you the last couple of days, with nowhere near such a good reason. I do like being up early, but I have no idea how you keep going all day if you're doing this every day!

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  2. You put me to shame, that is quite a day. I used to get up at that time and listen to the same things on R4; can't quite put my finger on why I love the shipping forecast and Farming Today, but I do. Something to do with the sense of place it gives me maybe. And I always think homemade packed lunches are better than shop ones - I couldn't afford to buy one either, but I am sure yours are nicer. I am very grateful to you and other nurses for the amazing job you do. Thank you Nancy.

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  3. Dang that's a long day. But given the packed train at 6.28, clearly you are not the only one.

    When we lived in Japan, I got up at 5am for a year to get to work. Not sure I ever got used to it, though if you asked, I'd say I was a morning person.

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  4. I'm so grateful right now to the wonderful people like you who become nurses. I've been thinking about you this past week as i watch the nursing staff tend their patients with no-nonsense yet tender care.

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  5. You make me feel very idle Nancy, I feel like writing my own mornings post as a complete and utter contrast to yours.

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  6. And yet you still find time to blog! So glad about that xx

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  7. I feel idle by comparison.... Love the building on the corner, second photo from the bottom

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  8. Amazing how much you get done so early! BTW, it looks like you live close to a place I used to live in (E17).

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  9. oh my. I am tired just thinking about your day............

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  10. ohdearohdear - when I think about the fuss I make about getting up at 6.30 I am ashamed.

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Even though I often do not have the time to reply to everybody, I really appreciate all your comments so much - thank you for taking the time to read my blog and share your thoughts on what I've written.