“It has been incredible to see junior nurses and physios working in environments that they aren’t familiar with”.
With Spring approaching and lockdown three ending it looks like we will all finally be able to leave our hives and enjoy a couple of rounds of Beeble with our friends and family in the sunshine. This certainly wouldn’t have been the case without the hard work our NHS has put in to battle the virus over the past year. Despite the hardships and health risks, these NHS heroes have continued to fight tirelessly since COVID-19 grasped our lives all that time ago. Beeble Backs is very pleased to feature Dr. Eleanor Manners in this months interview.
Eleanor trained in medicine at Cambridge before transferring to UCL where she completed her clinical training. She is currently doing her foundation year in London, having spent the last year working in the Intensive Care Unit due to pandemic redeployment. I spoke to Eleanor over a Zoom call on her day off, asking how she has managed the last year and what plans she has for the future. Have a read of what she had to say:
What inspired you to becoming a doctor?
I can’t really remember having a particular moment where I knew I wanted to become a doctor and I can’t really pin point exactly what it was. That is actually quite a common thing, I don’t think you can really know you want to be a doctor or what its going to be like until you actually start doing it. So if anyone is thinking about it I would recommend that they go for it. The obvious thing is from quite a young age I always liked my science classes and I like interacting with people so it was an obvious career for me. I then had a few experiences that confirmed that along the way. I did a work experience in an HIV and Cancer centre in London. Which I absolutely loved. The fact that the doctors were so passionate about their patients and were clearly enjoying their jobs made me want to do it. Then I went to Ethiopia in my gap year and worked in a children’s rehabilitation centre, which I loved. I then did some science research at university in one of the cancer labs there and I really liked the academic side so I guess over the years I realised that it was a good career that could combine all of those things together.
Obviously the last year must have been very difficult with work so what has kept you positive through that?
I have actually surprisingly stayed relatively positive. Its mainly through the people I have been around, I have a couple of friends, particularly doctors who never fail to amaze me about how positive they can be and how they can find the fun in any situation. I think doctors sometimes have a bit of a dark sense of humour and manage to find something funny despite all of the terrible things going on. Also at work there has been an amazing team spirit that I probably didn’t have in my first few months before the pandemic.
It has been incredible to see junior nurses and physios working in environments that they aren’t familiar with and completely out of their comfort zone and still just coming in day after day and remaining positive, so that has definitely been inspiring, also seeing senior doctors who have been specialised in a particular part of medicine for 30/40 years and completely giving that up to help in whatever way they can.
I have been working in intensive care recently, I was working with a senior paediatrician who was redeployed in January to help out in whatever way they could. He was incredible, he was willing to just do the most menial admin based tasks that are usually the junior doctors job and I just think that going forward that is actually really exciting for the NHS and the future. Hopefully something we can keep going.
Definitely the one benefit of the last year is there has been a sense of unity. Not only in the hospital but outside as well I feel. Which has been great to see. On an individual level how have you managed to look after yourself, with a lot less time off, and a high stress environment?
I have spent a lot more time at work than I was planning to this year and It has been obviously very tough at times. I think i’m really lucky to be going into work everyday in a way, it is a really good distraction from the pandemic. Compared to people who are stuck at home and really isolated I’m able to go into work, seeing my friends at work, interact with loads of people, so I feel very lucky in that sense. But generally for me it’s getting outside so I do a lot of running, cycling and swimming, I’ve been sneaking into the serpentine whenever I can. I try and get away to the seaside as much as possible.
Are you looking forward to any seaside trips in the future or any Ethiopia trips?
Hopefully next year if all goes well I should have some time off and I would love to do that.
How will you be drinking your Beeble?
Hopefully on the beach after a long few hours in the sea. You are going to have to advise me how to drink it!
Hot Toddy, but in the summer with some Soda water. Final question, who is your Queen Bee?
I think I change who my Queen Bee is quite a lot. Makes me think I’m probably a bit fickle. At the moment I’m doing a course in genetics and one of the lecturers, I don’t think I can say her name in case she ever reads this, but she’s a clinical geneticist who specialises in oncology which is the study of cancer which is what I would love to do in the future. She just has a vast level of knowledge on cancer genetics, but manages to come across as very normal and very approachable so I would love to be like that in the future.
Written by Harry Reed