Day 17

Tiredness can kill – take a break

So we have all seen these signs on the motorway warning us that driving when tired can lead to deaths on the road. Very true. Many times I have driven with the window down and the radio on whilst talking to myself to stay awake. However, consider too other circumstances when this is true. I do not intend to make this a political statement, but think for a minute about the current junior doctor working hours debate. These doctors work super long hours, sometimes on back to back shifts; and they hold people’s lives in their hands on a daily basis. The decisions they make, often when tired and when their judgement may therefore be impaired; have a massive impact on other people’s lives. Would you want an exhausted doctor making decisions about you and yours? Someone who hasn’t had a break, eaten properly or had any ‘down’ time? I know I don’t.

Having been on a two day first aid course yesterday and today, where I left the house before 8 and got back after 7 with a half hour lunch break, then had to walk my dog and was too tired to cook dinner; I truly sympathise with those who do this or worse on a daily basis. How do they even function – never mind make life changing, difficult and challenging decisions?

I can remember when my Nan and Grandad were in a nursing home, sometimes bemoaning the fact that the carers did a lot of paperwork and not much caring! However, I did also try to always remember these people were doing 12 hour shifts (day or night) every day! Exhausting!

The Bible tells us “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) Let us all remember the importance of rest and sleep tonight.

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