Twenty-four hours in the life of…Shailen
It has been a busy few days at The Ralph. This seemed like the ideal opportunity to share a ‘twenty-four hours in the life of’ blog post. We will do more of these in the future. For the inaugural one, we decided to check in with Shailen, Founder, CEO and Clinical Director. So Shailen, it is the morning of Saturday 23rd March 2019. Tell us what the last twenty-four hours looked like for you….
“As the Founder, CEO, Clinical Director and an experienced Emergency and Critical Care Diplomate, I wear many hats at The Ralph. The last twenty-four hours are a good example of this. Actually, scrap that. I am going to go back a little further to early evening on Thursday…
The Ralph has a referral Emergency and Critical Care service. And we all know that emergencies are unpredictable. You can go from very quiet to very busy in the blink of an eye.
We received several emergency patients on Thursday evening. They all required surgery either on Thursday night – see the picture below – or on Friday. I was not the primary clinician for any of these cases. Instead, my role was to help ensure things progressed as smoothly as possible throughout the hospital. We are still a new hospital on a large scale and this is one of my key contributions. Being present, answering questions – both operational and clinical – and helping where I can. I got home after 11 p.m. on Thursday evening. Thursday night, like many nights at the moment, was a short night sleep-wise.
We do Ward and ECC clinical rounds at 8 a.m. and I almost always attend. But this Friday I had to skip rounds as I had some urgent tasks to attend to. From 9-10 a.m. we held our first Learning Huddle. Here we reviewed a clinical case and debriefed on some other topics. It is very difficult to get people together for an hour in a hospital environment. I was grateful to see how many people juggled their schedules to attend. And the open yet non-blaming discussion which aligns with our core values.
The next few hours on Friday saw me focusing on CEO-type duties. These ranged from an impromptu ‘State of The Ralph’ debrief with Iqbal (Co-Founder and Finance Director), reviewing drafts of marketing materials, attending to the most pressing emails in my overflowing Inbox, discussing some of the challenges our people are dealing with in the hospital…and much more besides.
As it got to later in the afternoon, on came the scrub top and back downstairs I went. Between the surgical patients admitted on Thursday evening, very sick patients in ICU, new emergencies and other non-emergency patients, things were busy on the clinic floor. These are challenging times in any hospital. This is more so in a new hospital working hard to deliver excellent care while finding its feet. It is a new experience for me. Before I embarked on The Ralph journey I identified as a clinician. In these busy times, I would have been hands-on in helping patients and colleagues. Now my role is different. I still get stuck in when needed, of course. But I am also responsible at a higher level for so much about The Ralph. It is a responsibility I share of course with many wonderful team members. But at 6 p.m. on a Friday, I own everything that I need to own to help Team Ralph, our patients, our referrers and our clients.
The next few hours included a recruitment meeting with a wonderful person who will likely be joining our Customer Care Team. She was very patient. I kept her waiting at the outset (I was helping in Cat Ward). I then had to keep ducking out to be the point of call for the front desk so the ECC team could stay focused on the patients. We received more emergency referral requests and I responded to some advice calls from colleagues in practice. I always say that as a startup finding our way, we do depend on the grace and understanding of everyone who engages with The Ralph. I am grateful to this person for exemplifying this.
I got home after 10 p.m. on Friday night knowing that the hospital was still busy. But I felt that my presence on site was unnecessary.
So there you are. There is a summary of what the last thirty-six hours or so looked like for me. Thanks for asking! I am excited about seeing more of these posts in the future. Not least as I would love all Ralphers to get some insight into what their team members are up to – to ‘walk in each other’s shoes’.
Before I go, I want to say the biggest of thank you’s to Team Ralph.”