Starting From Nothing

Posted by: Ben Williams - Posted on:

Whenever I start a new job or a new project, and even though it’s totally expected, I always feel overwhelmed by how little I know compared to the other members of the team. Experience of previously working in the NHS helped me out a little when I started my placement, but I still knew almost nothing about how Clinical Commissioning Groups work or about the different services and pathways that are available locally in Doncaster. It’s amazing how much role specific knowledge you start to pick up once you get immersed in your work.

Although I’m still a couple of months away from finishing my first placement; one of the projects I’ve worked on, the Integrated Doncaster Care Record (IDCR), is a really good example of how quickly you can build knowledge of something when starting from nothing.

When I first started working on the IDCR just after the New Year I really struggled. I wasn’t certain whether the D stood for Doncaster or Digital, I kept getting the acronym muddled up and calling it the ICDR and I was having difficulty remembering the roles and responsibilities of the different members of the project team.

Throughout January I attended meetings and dialled into conference calls and slowly but surely I started to remember all of the acronyms, abbreviations and specific terms. Throughout February and March I was still feeling my way around certain aspects of the project but had a pretty solid knowledge of the testing activities which I was leading. By the time April and May rolled around I was providing training to staff and helping the development and data quality teams resolve technical issues with the build.

The IDCR is now being piloted by staff across Doncaster Health and Social care organisations and I have become a regular port of call for questions from users, members of the project team and the technical developers. In January I wouldn’t have even understood the question, let alone have an answer. But now through exposure to the project I’ve built up enough knowledge to answer basically any question without feeling like I’m guessing!

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