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Dr Firas from 24 Hours in A&E on expecting the unexpected and being recognised in Bluewater

19.11.13 Categories: 24 Hours in A&E

Dr Firas Sa'adedin is a Consultant in Emergency Medicine and Paediatric Emergency Medicine. He has worked at King's College Hospital since 2010. 

What is your favourite thing about working in A&E and why?

From a work perspective, King’s feels like home. I was lucky enough to be a Senior House Officer here during my first A&E post. It’s crazy to think that there were only two A&E consultants working here at the time. I also come back as a Registrar during my specialist training. The staff are wonderful and are quick to embrace you as part of the team. We all pull together in the good times and the more stressful, challenging ones. I would not want to work with a different group of people.

What is the most unusual situation you’ve come across at work?

It may sound clichéd but we have to be able to expect the unexpected. I may be showing my age now but nothing seems that unusual these days.

What’s the biggest external influence on the KCH A&E, and how does it affect it?

The biggest external influence on the emergency department at King’s is the local community. We do what we do because of our patients. It is one of the reasons King’s is unique and I hope that the recent Channel 4 series has portrayed this.

What do you think is the key to being a good doctor?

Of course it is important to have good clinical knowledge when looking after patients, but the key to truly being a good doctor or nurse is to be able to put yourself in the patient’s shoes. If you are humble, kind and compassionate and listen to patients (to their opinions, wishes and needs) then you will go a long way. I always try to think to myself: how would I want my mum or daughter to be treated if, heaven forbid, they had to come to the department as a patient?

What are your interests outside work?

With work, commuting and my family, I sometimes feel that I do not have any interests left outside work. I do however love sitting in a cinema by myself having two hours escaping from all reality. If I can grab a cappuccino in a well-known coffee chain before or after then all the better!

What is your greatest ambition?

My greatest ambition is to see my three children grow up healthily and happily (and maybe even for one of them to enter the medical profession too).

If you could have any job what would it be and why?

I have always wanted to be a cruise ship doctor. Indeed I got offered such a job before declining in order to start my Emergency Medicine Specialist training. But on a more serious note, I think that I have the ideal job for me at this time of my life. If I could change one thing: I would move King’s along the A2 so that it was closer to home and my commute would be less of an ordeal. I wouldn’t have to sleep in the hospital when I was on call then!

Has featuring in 24 Hours in A&E changed anything for you?

My wife may say that being on 24 Hours in A&E has changed my ego, but the honest truth is that I do not think that it has changed anything (apart from randomly being recognised in supermarkets and Bluewater). That is always a little surreal but actually quite flattering. I am still waiting by the phone to be invited to be the next host of Embarrassing Bodies!

Do you find colleagues and/or patients act differently around the cameras?

I think that we were all certainly very wary of the cameras when they were first put up, but once you are in resus, immersed in trying to treat a patient, you soon forget that you are being filmed. It was interesting however that, after the first couple of series, some patients would ask if they were going to be filmed and seemed excited by the prospect. 

Who do you think has the hardest job at the hospital and why?

I would not wish the job of on-call Medical Registrar or Paediatric Registrar on my worst enemies. These are two of the most challenging roles for doctors in the hospital. They are dragged from department to department and have responsibility for reviewing many of the admissions and deteriorating patients scattered around the hospital. They do a grand job and I feel that they do not get praised enough for all their hard work. So I take this opportunity to say thank you to all of them now.

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