We’re showcasing the work of different members of our amazing staff at King's, looking at all areas of the hospital.
This week we (the communications team) spent the day with Dr Mo Akindolie to find out what her role as consultant paediatrician involves and what a typical day looks like for her.
8am: Dr Akindolie arrives at the hospital. “The first half hour of my day is for going through my emails catching up on any other desk work,” she says. “I’ll be seeing patients throughout the day so this is the only time I will have a chance to do this.”
8.30am: Dr Akindolie goes along to a training meeting on the third floor of Cheyne Wing. A junior doctor presents a case, which is then discussed by the paediatric department.
9am: Dr Akindolie attends a handover meeting with the doctors who covered the night shift. The doctors talk about how all the patients got on overnight. Among them is a teenager who was stabbed and treated at A&E but well enough to go home later that day.
9.30am: Dr Akindolie begins seeing patients on the ward, shadowed by medical students Harjit and Danielle, and Emily, a junior doctor. She says: “I have medical students with me at all times, except during the summer holidays. Teaching is a really important part of my job.”
9.50am: Her first patient of the day is seven-year-old Ciara, who has Down’s syndrome and leukaemia. Dr Akindolie assesses Ciara and discusses her recent symptoms and further treatment options with her mother.
10am: Throughout the day Dr Akindolie takes the computer on wheels or COW with her to write up the patient notes. Here she is with Dr Tegan Mor-Welch. She speaks to Harjit & Danielle about the conditions they come across so they understand more about each one.
10.20am: Dr Akindolie sees a 12-day-old baby with jaundice. His mother is a Portuguese-speaker and so a translator is required to help with the assessment. “We frequently encounter communication challenges like this,” says Dr Akindolie. “Luckily we have some clinicians here who can speak different languages – we have Italian and Spanish speakers and currently a medical student who speaks Mandarin. Between us, our team speaks over 15 different languages! We also have an over-the-phone translator if needed.”
10.45am: Three-year-old Sam has come in with a wheeze. He is assessed by Dr Akindolie, who says he can be discharged today!
11.20am: Dr Akindolie sees a 21-month-old patient, Noah, who also has a wheeze. Dr Akindolie listened to his breathing and decided he should remain in hospital for an additional night.
11.50am: Next up is Evie, a 6-year-old with leukaemia. She's near the end of her treatment, but has developed shingles, a virus linked to chicken pox. “Leukaemia treatment for children lasts 3 years but it has a very high success rate,” says Dr Akindolie.
12.15pm: Dr Akindolie attends a ‘huddle’ meeting with the doctors and nurse in charge on the ward to discuss the patients she has seen and any others the other doctors might need advice on.
12.30pm: Dr Akindolie attends an x-ray meeting. She says: “This is attended by paediatric radiologists, surgeons and other doctors. The radiologists can help interpret the scans.” Dr Akindolie has referred 2 patients to the meeting for discussion.
1.30pm: When she gets back to the ward Dr Akindolie, continues to assess patients. “When I'm on call I'll spend the whole day on the wards, seeing patients,” she said. “On other days I have meetings, clinic and will see out-patients. But no two days are alike.”
3pm: Dr Akindolie attends a meeting with her colleague Dr Atul Gupta to discuss their plans for an upcoming paediatric conference being convened at King's. This is the only chance for lunch so Dr Akindolie grabs a sandwich during the meeting.
3.45pm: Dr Akindolie goes back to the wards. "I can't imagine my life in any profession other than paediatrics," she said. "There are inevitably times which are challenging and heartbreaking but these are far outnumbered by wonderful days. Children are refreshingly honest. They bring fun and joy to the workplace! It is such an honour and a privilege to work with children and their families. The future health of the nation rests solely with the health of children and young people and we have a unique opportunity to positively influence this."
4.30pm: There is a final handover meeting to the paediatric consultant on call overnight. This involves the paediatric trainees including registrar Dr Zafar Zaidi.
5.30pm: Following the handover meeting Dr Akindolie will undertake the evening ward rounds to any unwell or new patients, before wrapping up for the day.