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Doctor's 13-hour Christmas Day shift

Published: 25 Dec 2012 16:06

Enniskillen doctor Colin Rutherford "drew the short straw" this year and will work a 13-hour shift at Belfast City Hospital this Christmas day.

Colin Rutherford from Enniskillen is working in Belfast City Hospital today.

Enniskillen doctor Colin Rutherford "drew the short straw" this year and will work a 13-hour shift at Belfast City Hospital today.

He's covering the Medical Admissions Unit in the hospital and is accompanied by four other doctors and "lots of nurses."

He's missing out on "the best dinner of the year," cooked by his mum Valerie. However, he will look forward to a Boxing day dinner cooked by his sister Gail at her new home in Lisnarick.

"The pressure is on my sister," he laughs. "There will be high expectations after working all day on Christmas day," he warns.

His mother Valerie, father Martin and other sister Tracey will enjoy the Boxing day meal.

"Unfortunately my name was picked this year," reflects the 24-year-old doctor. However, this is his first time working on Christmas day since he qualified 18 months ago.

Whether or not he is busy is "very unpredictable," Colin explains.

The City Hospital's Accident and Emergency facility has been closed since November 2011, due to an absence of senior staff. GPs now have access 24-7 to senior medical personnel in the Acute Assessment Unit and the Medical Admissions Unit.

"It might be busy and it might not. Unfortunately, people get sick every day of the year," Colin says.

Overall, he is optimistic and realises that it's all part of the job description. "It's not so bad as long as I'm not working the entire week," Colin says. "It's bearable enough and it's just another day."

Colin, a former student of Portora Royal School, studied medicine in Queen's University Belfast before qualifying as a doctor in June 2011. He worked in the Erne Hospital for one year before gaining employment in the City Hospital.

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