Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Ward Clerks

*Blog will be moving soon*

If there’s one area of the ward that has a chair (probably the only one on the ward) and a desk, it’ll be fiercely protected by the ward clerk. If you happen to come across it and it’s vacant, sit at your own peril. There have been many a times I would literally jump from the seat with as little as a sideward glance from the ward clerk.

The ward clerk is the person who knows the hospital like the back of her hand.  They know where everything is and how everything works because they’ve been there as long as the hospital itself. They’ve seen countless fresh eyed doctors come and go.

The ward clerk on my first ward was a scary woman. I bet if she rugby tackled anyone, they’d deflate like a balloon. She hardly smiled and would bark demands at me. But she kept the ward in check, without her, it would have all fallen apart.

The ward clerk on my current placement is different, much more approachable but also very good. When she told me she was taking some annual leave after New Year’s, the first thing I thought was ‘how are we going to cope’.

I have a lot of respect for the ward clerks. But when they’re gone. All hell breaks loose. We all sort of chip in and cover their role, which is nothing short of horrendous. We don’t know where everything is kept. The phone keeps ringing incessantly. It’s hard to track patients moving out and into the beds. Everyone sort of spreads themselves to help cover a bit of the gigantic hole that is missing.

But what strikes me as odd and I can’t stop thinking about it. If you have someone who fills such a significant role on the ward. They help streamline everything and make things work smoother. They’re an important member of the team. Why is there no cover arranged when they're away? 

Thankfully, she came back to work and normalcy resumed. Having every part of a working team makes things so much more efficient. So, when I think of hospitals, the next thing that springs to my mind are doctors, but really, all the people that are working in all their different teams are really, really crucial.

Has anyone else got someone at work who makes their lives a lot easier? 


  1. Hi,
    I am a ward clerk. I hear you. When I take leave or am off sick, I come back to chaos and a growing list of demands. I hate it. I think a worthy question is, why are they paid so little? I took a pay cut to be a ward clerk. I wanted to seek the valuable experience that it would give me.
    I spend a lot of time trying to train the staff to be sufficient without me. I make easy to use and understand filling systems, notices, posters and guides. But the staff prefer to drink tea & chat rather than learn the basics for when I am not there. It makes me sad.

    1. Hi Clair thanks for commenting. Don't be too sad. A good ward clerk is priceless and I'm sure your team knows it.