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10 tips for surviving morning surgery

1 The easiest way to stay on time is to start on time.

1 The easiest way to stay on time is to start on time.

2 The unpredictable always happens ­ so plan for it, and don't be surprised when it happens.

3 Make sure the printer has enough prescriptions in before you start surgery ­ not after you've pressed 'print'.

4 Time is precious ­ so if you need to look something up, and the answer isn't urgent, do it later and tell the patient you will get back to them. But don't forget.

5 Use a to-do list throughout surgery (such as 'tasks' on Microsoft Outlook) and add things you need to remember, and tasks you need to do. It's so much safer than Post-it notes.

6 When you feel flustered and rushed, slow down. Better late than wrong.

7 If in doubt, ask. Most trainers are more worried by registrars who don't ask questions than by registrars who ask too much too often.

8 Make absolutely certain you understand your practice policy on chaperones and adhere to it.

9 We all get stressed at times ­ talk to your trainer, rather than bottling it up.

10 Coffee breaks are not a luxury. Make sure you get yours.

David Haslam is a PMETB board member and former RCGP chair

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