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Guide to the Duty House Officer (Surgical or Medical)

The Duty House Officer is often very busy dealing with emergencies. To avoid overloading the Duty House Officer with extra work, the regular House Officer attached to the run during the day needs to attend to as many administrative tasks as possible. For example, before going off duty, the regular House Officer should:

Be flexible with regard to workloads. We hope that colleagues are still prepared to help out when the workload in different areas becomes unbalanced. It is unusual for all staff on duty to be fully committed. When you are “swamped” seek help from a junior or senior colleague. Remember there is always a Duty Specialist available on call.

Communication with Senior Staff

Remember that it is essential to share any clinical problems or concerns with a more senior staff member. Responsibility can only be shared when this has been done.

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Topic Code: 10697