Ramadan Kareem to everyone around the world who has commenced the holy month of worship. This month of fasting is a time of spiritual reflection, self-improvement, and increased worship. It teaches discipline and allows time for reflection and to think about those less fortunate.
It is with an immense appreciation for those in our team here at A&E Agency, as well as many of the doctors we work with who are currently devoting themselves to Ramadan that we wanted take the opportunity to recognise this sacred Islamic tradition. We will be sharing a series of content that not only highlights some of our stories but also offers a platform for advice, community support channels and acknowledging some of the everyday challenges being faced, especially with the additional pressures on our NHS professionals throughout the pandemic. What we've learnt so far is the unrelenting determination, self-discipline and individual strengths it takes to push through these challenges.
Ramadan can mean a lot of family time during Suhoor (meal before dawn) and Iftar (meal after sunset), but how does this impact doctors who work 12-hour days or away from home?
We spoke to one of our Specialist Registrar Locum Surgeons about a typical day working on-call during the holy month of Ramadan and the challenges faced, whilst fulfilling your duties as a doctor.
A day in the life of an NHS surgeon observing Ramadan
4:00am – Wake up for the first meal of the day before the sun rises, the meal is prepared in advance. Some people go back to sleep, but it is easier to get the day started and mentally and physically awake and ready for the day.
4:39am– Fajr Prayer (Before Sunrise)
7:00am – Get ready for work
8:30am – Morning handover
10:00am – Theatre sessions
1:14pm – Zuhr Prayer (Afternoon)
2:00pm – Theatre sessions
4:58pm – Asr Prayer (late afternoon)
8:00pm – Evening handover
8:13pm – Maghrib Prayer (after sunset)
9:00pm – Evening meal (Iftar)
We asked our doctor what the hardest thing is about working during Ramadan
"The hardest thing during Ramadan is driving. It's important to keep the body active and the mind busy. If you factor in jogging in the evenings or playing cricket, then you are looking after your physical health which gives you more energy. When you are inactive you become lethargic and allow your body to feel tired. Having a day of doing nothing or sitting down and driving for long periods of time can be the most difficult times for anyone during Ramadan. During a busy day on-call you are running around, your body and mind are active which makes fasting easier."
If you're observing Ramadan this year, we’d love for you to share your stories and tell us how you keep focused and stay active, especially with the added concerns of covid and maintaining a healthy work life balance. If you’ve got a story you’d like to share, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’d like to have more flexibility in the shifts you are working during Ramadan, you can review our current work opportunities here.