I work twelve-hour shifts, usually 9am to 9pm.
Every thirteen weeks I work nights. Again a twelve-hour shift.

I’m on the go, on my feet, and on my toes the whole time. I can never relax; an emergency can come in at any time. And I’ve got be ready to help.

Sometimes, when things are really busy, I only manage a twenty-minute break all day. Demands on my time are high, but I’m ok with that, although I can get tired, very tired.

My job is to lead the emergency care team here at Monklands. Brain injuries. Cardiac arrests. Confusion. Urinary infections. Kidney stones. Burns, and every type of break. You name it, I’ve seen it. Whatever the problem is, I’ve got to be ready to deal with it.

I love my job. Absolutely love it. Helping people is my passion, and I’ll always do it, whatever happens.

Sometimes I feel so overworked, so stretched. It feels like I’m fighting fire after fire. And some cases can be so upsetting.

Having great people around me helps me cope. My team is fantastic; everyone does an amazing job. Despite everything morale is high.

We support each other when times are tough. It might surprise you to know that we laugh a lot. That’s so important.
Humour is our way of coping, of course. Otherwise, well, it would be so depressing, so emotionally draining.

Luckily I can switch off easily at the end of a shift. Maybe it’s because I’m so tired. I need my bed, that’s for sure.

Dr Zoe Cousland
Registrar in General Medicine
Monklands Hospital
North Lanarkshire