Tuesday, 16 October 2012

2 prison guards, 1 patient, 1 pair of handcuffs, 1 nurse, 1 cannula, NO PRESSURE

2 prison guards, 1 patient, 1 pair of handcuffs, 1 nurse, 1 cannula, NO PRESSURE

I've come along a lot in the last few weeks at my clinical procedures.  I've improved from wanting to hide in the nearest supply closet at the suggestion of cannulating a patient to actually feeling pretty confident I can pop it in provided the patient is not completely shut down/ older than time itself (for those non medical personnel not in the know, a cannula is basically a tube you put into a vein so that you can give IV drugs/fluids through it, it usually stays in there a few days).

Those of you who are observant and have been following my blog regularly  might have realised I have only ever blogged about successfully getting a cannula in ONCE, that would be because until a few weeks ago I had in fact only got a cannula in ONCE (yes, I am a final year and yes I realise this is bad) which was on my elective over a year ago and then only under guidance from a midwife.  Still after a few weeks on surgery and 1 in ITU I'm finally more at the level a fifth year should be at and have now done quite a few, but heres the story of my first two sucessful patients.....

1 week old with a MELONoma (sorry I doctored the word a bit...) he was a bit fruity... (yes yes brother, I stole your joke, I'd vancouver reference you but this blogs anon so tough luck :P)

Ok, this patient was a mango.  The nurses mango to be precise (I think she ate it afterwards and all :S).  He made good practise for how to hold and insert cannulas though, very forgiving and very patient, so I think I owe my first actual successful unassisted cannula to him.  Here he is in all his cannulated glory:

Incidentally don't try and flush saline into a cannulated mango, it WILL squirt out and hit your reg in the face. Opps :/.

The patient in handcuffs
So off I went to cannulate my first actual patient here at the suggestion of mango-nurse, and she came with me so she could sign off my cannulation skill box if I managed / take over if I did not. All fine so far, till I get the patient who turns out to be handcuffed to a prison guard with another one watching... So my cannulation attempt will in fact have 8 eyes on it, excellent, no pressure... IS IT ME OR IS IT SUDDENLY REALLY HOT IN HERE?!

Furthermore the vein I like the look of is partially being covered by the handcuff, I try to pull the handcuff down a bit (wondering as I do if thats even allowed or if a prison guard is about to yell at me) but it gets caught on the wrist bone so I assume its meant to not go any further and give up tugging and try to work around the handcuff when the patient impatiently tugs it down for me, opps, good start.

But anyway long story short, I did get the cannula in first time (yay) but I did also give the bed a bit of a blood splattering which mango-nurse was less keen about, never mind, win some lose some.

But yes, not the first unassisted cannulation experience I was expecting!

Halfadoc x

Friday, 12 October 2012

Things can only get bettttter....

October 2012:  This last week and a bit started off so badly, with everything seeming to go wrong leaving me very fed up with medicine and my own disorganisation, fortunately I'm glad to say a week on and everything is already seeming a lot less stressful!  The main two items of stress are below, not the only ones by far, but the straws that broke the camels back I suppose because without them it all seems so much more manageable again :).

I've gone from having fits of rage that someone had taken my stethoscope from SAU where I had accidently left it over night (my stethoscope is by no means top of the range but its still £60 that I really can't afford to waste right now) to having my faith in humanity restored by someone responding to my "MISSING STETHOSCOPE" posters and getting it back to me.  It had been missing for 3 weeks and I leave this hospital in a week so I thought it was a gonna but had been paranoidly eying up all stethoscopes of the same colour to try and see if my name was engraved on them.  Its probably for the best that its turned up now, because staring at all those doctors' chests was probably a little creepy....

Furthermore I was having a major fit of rage at myself and a big panic about the fact I could not find my intercalated degree certificate and it is foundation job application time - if I couldn't get a replacement one by the 19th then my intercalated year would be a waste of time in the sense that I wouldn't get any points for it on my job application - I couldn't believe that I had successfully put things such as my Duckling Swimming Award certificate in a well organised folder but had no idea where the most important certificate I currently had was! Major fail!  I organised to get a replacement (another £26.50) and begged the admin lady to push it through faster than the 3 weeks quoted when sods law, 2 hrs after I had paid, my parents find my certificate at home. Doh!!  However the very kind admin lady arranged a refund for me even though my certificate had already been printed - what a gem! So once again faith in humanity restored :)

But at least I alway know where my duckling awards are, I mean WHO knows when someone may ask me to show proof of having earnt that...

Its also been a good week in that I've spent it in ITU which has been VERY interesting, plus I'm finally getting good at blood taking and cannulating - the doctors on this ward have actually commented that I'm very good! Now thats a change! 

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

The best FREE medical finals revision sources

Right, so this is going to be an ongoing resource that I will add to as I go along , but I figure finals are a problem that is best shared so it would be nice to have a list that all students can look at and add to in order to save us all doing the same research.  Please comment if you know of other sources and I will add them to the list :) (and steal your suggests for my own revision as well ;D).

Free Podcasts - good for revising on the go

  • http://saran.podomatic.com/ - easy to download, work straight away with windows media player.  I've not listened to them yet so I'll let you know what they are like soon (downloaded them for a long car drive!).
  • http://www.podmedics.com/ - not free but you can get a free 7 day trial.  So I guess you can liberate as many resources as possible during that time....And of course then sign up for the website if you like them...
    • There is a free podmedics podcast app with quite a few downloadable podcasts which are pretty good if you have an iphone
Non downloadable presentations/ podcasts (streaming only)
Youtube videos! (for those all important examinations you never learnt to do!):

  • geekymedics.com - looks really good from what I have looked at so far :)
  • http://almostadoctor.co.uk - really useful notes and sectioned in a very easy to use way.
  • www.askdoctorclarke.com - the courses and that aren't free but you can sign up to the website for free and theres a fair bit of revision material there 
  • http://passmed.co.uk/index.html - bit variable, has links to other free sites but lots of them are out of date (have been looking through for working ones!).  Some info on the site itself though.
....More to come!

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Blonde Medic Moment 3: A lethal pocket dial

Blonde Medic Moment 3: A lethal pocket dial

September 2012: Ok this has got to be potentially one of my most embarrassing medical moments to date, and it literally happened about 30 minutes ago so this is hot off the press as it were....

So to set the scene:
Was just having a quick chat to my friend in his hospital accommodation about the surgical firm that he has just finished on and I have just started on.  The conversation was mostly about the F1 but also about the surgical team and our opinions of surgery in general...

Embarrassing topics we covered included

  • My friend having a crush on the F1
  • How the F1 is often late and seems pretty laidback (we weren't berating this, just commenting on it and saying that he doesn't seem any more keen on surgery than we are)
  • How neither of us are particularly keen on surgery at all and would prefer to spend time doing private study as it is probably more useful that the often waiting about style of surgery.
  • How my friend also had a bit of a crush on the registrar......
And other topics of conversation best not discussed here as my mother sometimes reads this blog...(Kidding mum)

Anyway I had a brief chat to someone else (nothing incriminating, just general banter) on my way back to my accomadation and then when straight back...  When I sat down I realised my phone had been pocket dialing the F1 for 3 whole potentially incriminating minutes... ..... Chances are I was safe and he wouldn't have heard anything beyond the later banter/ me walking, but that is waaaay too close for my comfort :/ .  Fingers crossed he didn't hear anything (especially as my friend would also be embarrassed) but what on earth were the chances of my phone picking that particular moment to dial the F1?! I swear these things could only happen to me!

Anyway I hope the thought of how much I am cringing now brings some enjoyment to your day at any rate! Trying hard to keep blogging reasonably regulary but fifth year is eating me alive and there are so many things I plan on blogging about that just don't make it to my blog.  If there's anything in particular anyone would like to hear more about please do comment below and I will try and focus on those areas for a bit! 

Halfadoc x

Friday, 14 September 2012

Blonde medic moment 2!

Blonde medic moment 2!

Time for another short blonde moment post! Okay this moment is made blonde by the fact it has occured recently and so has occurred whilst I am a final year and really should know better....

Consultant Surgeon (Lets call him Mr Stereotype for definitely no reason connected to his personality being a bit stereotypical of a surgeon...): Why is the Gallbladder important?

Me: It makes bile?

Mr Stereotype: Errrrm no, it doesn't make bile....

So why is it important??

Smart Student: It makes mucus

Mr Stereotype: Well Yes, but no, its important because removing it is paying for my children's private education.

And probably pays for his monday, tuesday and wednesday games of golf too (maybe he does  kidney stones for the thursday and friday games)

Friday, 31 August 2012

First Week of Final Year - Eeeeek!

First Week of Final Year - Eeeeek!
End of August 2012:

Well, I've officially made it to final year, how scary is that?! I'm living in hospital accommodation for the next 8 weeks but actually on my 4 week GP placement first of all which is about 10 miles away from my hospital accommodation. Living in hospital accomodation is proving to be quite an odd experience so far, I'm in a flat of 4 which is quite plush in that it has two showers, one with a loo in the bathroom plus a separate toilet as well. It also has double beds! Luxury! But on the downside its exceedingly quiet - am yet to meet one of the four health professionals I am living with (only one of these is another student) and have seen one of the others only very briefly, no internet there yet either! How will my social life survive ;D (it will probably actually be good for my academic life as long as it doesn't continue too long, no facebook!)

Its quite weird being able to literally see the hospital from my window, I don't think I'd like living here on a permanent basis whilst working in the hospital very much, it would seems quite clautrophobic and I expect it would feel like you never really got to escape from your working life. Even now it feels a bit of a continual reminder that I should be working and that finals are starting to loom...

As once described in scrubs: The hospital can be a monster that takes over your life, I could see this being doubly the case if you lived in hospital accomadation permanently!

Starting on GP in someways this feels a bit like a lack of progression from fourth year which had quite a few GP visits but in other ways it is really quite different. For one thing I have my very own shiny consulting room which is literally mine and mine only to use for the next 4 weeks which is pretty exciting! I've been told I can decorate with pictures, bring a radio in... etc. Unfortunately not sure my "suicide bunnies" poster is quite appriopriate so I've decided to keep it plain and professional! So far I've only used it a few times to see patients before they see the doctor but hopefully I should use it more and more as time goes on.

Another change for this year is that as I am there for a solid 4 weeks rather than just the odd afternoon I am already starting to feel like more of a team member rather than occasional visitor which is really nice :)

Thats all for now - going to try and keep posts shorter and sweeter otherwise I have no hope of managing to post reasonably regulary whilst keeping up with final year, which already I am finding ever so slightly stressful...

Halfadoc xx

Saturday, 18 August 2012

How to apply to medical school without losing your mind

Hi guys, sorry I've fallen off the blogsphere a bit, its been a busy few months full of finishing fourth year and the fun of exams*  combined with summer fun such as volunteering as a games maker at the olympics and earning my last pennies from my part time job before I quit it in order to dedicate my time to giving myself and my wonderful lack of medical knowledge the best chance of scrapping through finals in about 9 months times (eeek eeekk eeeeek!!! This absolutely terrifies me!!)

The good news is I'm all passed on fourth year and so now do hold the terrifying title of Final year medical student.A week and a bit till I start back :o.  Start taking your vitamin tablets cause its looking like I could actually pull off this medical student business **! 

But anyway: Blogging.  I'll catch you up on some of my latest medical exploits soon, but I figured its that time of year when AS students have all got their results and are working on their applications... Well I always intended this blog to be something that would help current applicants but it has occurred to be that I've not really shared that much of my "wisdom" about the application  process, so without further adieu:

General advice

Personal statement – concentrate  more on what you gained from a few key pieces of work experience/ volunteer work than just listing all the things you have done.  Spend time working on your opening line, you want to get their attention and make your personal statement stand out.

Interview – Best advice is to be enthusiastic and to be yourself.  Read a good newspaper on the day of your interview and the few days leading up to it (often  there are questions on current medical issues).  Re read your personal statement –look for bits where you may not have expanded much as these may be the areas the interviewers ask you more about.  Think about what you might want to say for some key questions eg “Why medicine” and “How do you deal with stress” but don’t script answers too much because it will sound fake.
Look on forums before your interview – some people put up what they got asked at recent interviews at particular med schools and the questions often don’t change much.

What if you don’t get in? This is in my opinion my most important bit of advice: Gap year and reapply!! Lots of gap year students get in esp if you do something useful with your time on your gap year that you can talk about at interview.   Get feedback from unis that rejected you so you can improve next time.
Phone, fax and email medical schools on results day – some medical place do very occasionally come up at clearing! A girl in my year got into keele despite not having applied there originally because she both phoned and emailed them her results + personal statement on results day and they offered her an interview – have heard of this happening to a few people at keele. 
 Seriously, the grad route is always a possibility but as you have to pay your own tuition fees for second degree (so thats £9000 upfront, no loan, per a year) this really should be your plan C not plan B, gap year gap year gap year!! 

Current medical student blogs e.g. www.halfadoctor.blogspot.com obviously :p, but seriously theres some very interesting reads on the blogroll at the right of my main page
http://www.wanttobeadoctor.co.uk/main.php (by Leeds WAMS, but lots of general advice and example interview questions)
www.newmediamedicine.com (a forum for medical applicants and current medical students) and/or www.thestudentroom.co.uk then just go to the medicine pages.
Tomorrow’s doctors document: http://www.gmc-uk.org/education/undergraduate/undergraduate_policy/tomorrows_doctors.asp - this is apparently what medical schools want you to be like but I've got to admit its a bit wishy-washy and I only ever skim read it, whoopsy.

Bedside Stories: Confessions of a Junior Doctor (Paperback)
Michael Foxton
In Stitches: The Highs and Lows of Life as an AandE Doctor (Paperback)
Nick Edwards
Trust Me, I'm a (Junior) Doctor (Paperback)   (and all other Max pemberton books, all good reads!)
Max Pemberton

So none of this is by any means exhaustive, but I hope it helps a little.  Any of questions about applying that you have, please feel free to comment below and I will try and get back to you :).  Also I forgot to mention, how do you apply without losing your mind?? Well, I'm afraid I never discovered that one but I hope you enjoy the compulsion to constantly check your UCAS for changes more than I did ;) 

Halfadoc x

*Mainly a very annoying GP exam which combined genuine medical knowledge with rote learning/reciting type aspects about things such as the "WONCA tree" - google it if your interested but I don't advise bothering, for starters theres absolutely no connection to any chocolate factory ;D
** Don't take too many, that's just as bad.

Friday, 1 June 2012

80 + Things you wish you knew before you started medical school

80 + Things you wish you knew before you started medical school

So I've been looking at this site http://www.medschoolhell.com/2007/04/24/101-things-you-wish-you-knew-before-starting-medical-school/ , which is great but very american and not always applicable to the english medical school system, so I've decided to slowly completely plagiarise/alter/ add my own bits to this (I'll keep updating this post as I think of things. I think I'm a bit more optimistic than the original poster perhaps tho, so some have had a positive slant added to them!)

  1. People told you it would be hard, but at times you will feel they didn't emphasize this enough. At other times you will think that they (and me now!) are drama queens.
  2. You’ll study more than you ever have in your life.
  3. Only half of your class will be in the top 50%. You have a 50% chance of being in the top half of your class. Get used to it now.
  4. You don’t need to know anatomy before school starts. Or pathology. Or physiology.
  5. That Chemistry A level you had to take because it was "the most relevant a level for studying medicine"? Not relevant. At all.
  6. Third year rotations will suck the life out you. Fifth year ones might take your soul (so I hear, I'll let you know next year).
  7. Med-cest! Your year group will couple up, break up, and then re couple up differently. Gossip galore. Those with non medic partners are in a sad minority.
  8. You may discover early on that medicine isn’t for you.
  9. You will need to know how to make tea to order for GP rotations. That job in a cafe? Looking more useful now.
  10. You will become OCD about handwashing, if not you will be told off on many occasions by the nursing staff (rightfully).
  11. Despite all the early lectures you have about patients consent being clearly asked with regards to medical students sitting in on clinics, you will be in countless situations where you are pretty sure the consultant hasn't asked and you don't think the patient is comfortable with you being there
  12. You won’t be a medical student on the surgery rotation. You’ll be the retractor bitch.
  13. You often won't be a medical student on ANY rotation, you will be he/she who pulls the curtain.
  14. You will get really good at getting drug rep/ company free pens whenever you can but doctors are even better at "borrowing" them off you.
  15. If you added up all the time you waste waiting around for clinics/ lectures/ ward rounds you could easily shorten the actual medical degree by a year.
  16. You will work with at least one smart arse senior that you want to argue with about the way they treat you and other medical students, but you will have to sit down and shut up.
  17. You will see staffs expressions of annoyance when you turn up and say you are a medical student.
  18. You’ll ask a stranger about the quality of their stools.
  19. You’ll ask post-op patients if they’ve farted within the last 24 hours.
  20. At some point during your stay, a stranger’s bodily fluids will most likely come into contact with your exposed skin.
  21. Somebody in your class will flunk out of medical school. Probably more than one.
  22. Several people in your year will date doctors during the course.
  23. After the first two years are over, your summer breaks scarcely exist. Enjoy them as much as you can.
  24. You’ll be sleep deprived.
  25. There will be times on certain rotations where you won’t be allowed to eat.
  26. The phrase "Reflective writing" will induce a pavlovs dog style response resulting in instant rage.
  27. There will be times throughout the course when you hate medicine and wonder why you are doing this.
  28. You’ll party a lot during the first two years, but that will reduce drastically once you start rotations....
  29. .... You will quickly learn than hangovers and ward rounds to not mix well at all.
  30. You’ll probably change your specialty of choice at least 4 times.
  31. You’ll spend a good deal of your time playing social worker.
  32. Nurses will treat you badly, simply because you are a medical student.
  33. Sometimes on ward rounds/ clinics you will start to seriously debate whether you have achieved the power of invisibility.
  34. You will develop a thick skin. If you fail to do this, you’ll cry often.
  35. Public humiliation is very commonplace in medical training.
  36. Surgeons are arseholes. Take my word for it now.
  37. It’s always the medical student’s fault.
  38. At least 5% of those in your year would happily push you over and walk on you on their way to try and get to the top.
  39. The woman at Lidl will give you a lecture about the medical risks of drinking too many energy drinks.
  40. Your house might go uncleaned for two weeks during an intensive exam block.
  41. As a medical student on rotations, you don’t matter. In fact, you get in the way and impede productivity.
  42. You’ll be competing against the best of the best, the cream of the crop. This isn’t school where half of your classmates are idiots. Everybody in medical school is smart.
  43. Don’t think that you own the world because you just got accepted into medical school. That kind of attitude will humble you faster than anything else.
  44. If you’re in it for the money, there are much better, more efficient ways to make a living. Medicine is not one of them.
  45. Anatomy sucks. All of the bone names sound the same.
  46. The competition doesn’t end after getting accepted to medical school. You’ll have to compete for decile ranking, awards, and f1 positions. When you specialise you will have to compete for that too.
  47. Close friends will claim they have done next to no work all year, you will be reasurred until you see their pages and pages of notes 1 week before exams start.
  48. Your fourth year in medical school will be like a vacation compared to the first three years. It’s a good thing too, because you’ll need one. (This depends on medical school however....)
  49. Somebody in your class will be known as the “highlighter whore.” Most often a female, she’ll carry around a backpack full of every highlighter color known to man. She’ll actually use them, too.
  50. Rumours surrounding members of your class will spread faster than they did in school.
  51. Rumours about the course will spread faster still - "haven't you heard the medical school HAS to fail 20% because the year is too big?!"
  52. You’ll meet a lot of cool people, many new friends, and maybe your husband or wife.
  53. No matter how bad your medical school experience was at times, you’ll still be able to think about the good times.
  54. Most questions at the end of lectures come from the post-grad students.
  55. There will be at least one person in your year who scarcely has the social skills to say his own name, no one knows how they got through the interview process.
  56. At the beginning of first year, everyone will talk about how cool it’s going to be to help patients. At the end of third year, everybody will talk about how cool it’s going to be to make a lot of money.
  57. By fourth year you are virtually having weekly conversations about how you will spend your first pay check.
  58. The attractiveness of being a GP with its good pay and short hours is positively correlated to your year at medical school
  59. Telling local boys/girls at the bar that you’re a medical student doesn’t mean shit. They’ve been hearing that for years. Be more unique.
  60. The money isn’t really that good in medicine. Not if you look at it in terms of hours worked.
  61. Don’t wear your hospital id badge into a petrol station, or any other business that has nothing to do with you wearing a white coat. You look like an ass, and people do make fun of you.
  62. Dont steal patients for presentations that you know other students are going to use and actually clerked! You will quickly be known as one of that 5% that would push their own gran in front of a bus if they thought it would help their career somehow.
  63. Stick to the back of the ward round parade unless offered to come forward and get a better view of the patient, we've not earnt a right to be at the front yet.
  64. If you piss off your F1, he or she can make your life hell.
  65. Make the most of all the opportunity universities have - don't forget you are at university rather than just medical school, don't be afraid to step out of that medical school bubble occasionally.
  66. Your family members will ask you for medical advice, even after your first week of first year. By your third year onwards they start to worry if you don't know the answer.
  67. Many of your friends will go onto great jobs and fantastic lifestyles. You’ll still be at university eating (asda smart price) pot noodles.
  68. It’s amazing how fast time flies on your days off. It’s equally amazing at how slow the days are on a rotation you hate.
  69. No matter what specialty you want to do, somebody on an unrelated rotation will hold it against you. You will probably starting lying to make your future career match your current rotation...
  70. Sitting around in a group and talking about ethical issues involving patients is not fun. But you will have to do it a lot.
  71. You will probably do more role play than the students studying drama do, and you will become adept at playing the role of a sick patient for ocse practise.
  72. Find new ways to study. The methods you used in college may or may not work. If something doesn’t work, adapt.
  73. Hospitals smell bad.
  74. Occasionally a doctor or nurse will offer you a cup of tea or coffee, that person will become your new god.
  75. Subjective evaluations are just that – subjective. They aren’t your end all, be all so don’t dwell on a poor evaluation. The person giving it was probably an asshole, anyway.
  76. Some physicians will tell you it’s better than it really is. Take what you hear (both positive and negative) with a grain of salt.
  77. 90% of surgeons are assholes, and 63% of statistics are made up. The former falls in the lucky 37%.
  78. During the summer before medical school starts, do not attempt to study or read anything remotely related to medicine. Take this time to travel and do things for you.
  79. Vaginal deliveries are messy. So are c-sections. It’s just an all-around blood fest if you like that sort of thing.
  80. Despite what the faculty tell you, you don’t need all of the fancy equipment that they suggest for you to buy. All you need is a stethoscope. The other equipment they say you “need” is standard in all clinic and hospital exam rooms. If it’s not standard, your training hospital and clinics suck.
  81. Don't buy textbooks before you start medical school, and don't buy everything on the reading list then, most librarys are perfectly adequate for textbooks you may only ever use a couple of times. Wait till you know what the core books you use are.
  82. There will be several people in your year who will seem to be doing some form of "gotta catch 'em all" for committee positions and extra curricular activities.
  83. There will be at least one person in your year who seems to be doing the same for STI's ...
  84. By fourth year suddenly everyone will be talking about publications they have got or presentations they are giving at national conferences. If you are not one of these people you simply won't understand how everyone has managed this.
  85. Don't let your decile ranking within the medical school affect your self worth!
  86. Avoid surgery like the plague.
  87. You may have gone into medicine "to help people" but sometimes the only way to do that is to carry out procedures which cause them pain and make you feel like an utter b**t**d, you'd better be prepared for that too.
  88. Reflection will no longer be just the thing you see in the mirror but a word that fills you with dread.
  89. Read this, and the linked american version, now, throughout medical school, and then after you’re done. Then come back and say how right all this is. (I read the american version early in medical school, and now again now as a fourth year, got to say, its definitely looking pretty right!).

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

I could have qualified last week

I could have qualified last week

So last week the fifth years got the results for the second (and last) part of their finals.  Those who have passed both bits effectively know now that they will be a doctor come August.  This includes a large number of my original year group and some of my closest friends.  For those of you who weren't following last year, I took a year "out" of medicine between my third and fourth year of medicine in order to do an intercalated BSc in Sports Science (as did a large amount of my friends, but a few of the closest did not so we are no longer in the same year group).

Now I don't regret this extra year in the slightest - I had so many incredible experiences last year which I could not have had if I had stayed at my university, only ever studied medicine, and never been a "real" student.  Furthermore I've had experiences this year (I can't talk about these as much as I am very proud of them and they have been a massive part of my year, as linking myself to them would COMPLETELY destroy any sense of anonymity) which I could not have done if I had been in the fifth year and were not an option last year as the society I was part of did not exist then.

However its hard not to feel the slightest tinge of jealousy (and I mean very slightest, and not in a bitter way - I'm unbelievably proud and happy for my friends that all their ridiculous hard work this year has paid off) or slightly weirded out that without this year, I could have passed (or failed..) my finals last week and be starting as a doctor come august. That kinda blows my mind.

I have mixed feelings about whether I would want to be in this position - on the one hand MONEY (I'm honestly not going into medicine to get rich, but the amount of student loan we get at this stage of the course is pitiful and I'm growing weary of counting pennys student style), the knowledge you've done it and the fact that by five  years of uni you are a little weary of the whole thing (however much I honestly love my medical school) and just want to be done.  On the other hand, I'm not sure right now that I am quite ready for the responsibilities of a doctor - not knowledge wise (I definitely don't have that yet!) but emotionally/ situation management wise; perhaps though going through fifth year would have meant I would feel more ready at this stage though.

One of my friends who has just passed is only 22, she will have just turned 23 once she starts, so perhaps although I feel too young at 23 to be qualifying it is not so much age making me feel this but the amount of clinical experiences I am yet to have but will hopefully have been exposed to by the end of fifth year.

I think my overwhelming feeling though is being quite daunted by the prospect of finals and fifth year in general.  From seeing my friends go through it, it looks exhausting. I'm envious of my friends for being past this stage now. Their finals being done now, means my year group are the next to have finals (ignoring retakes). FLiiiiipppping heck.  I still remember walking into my first lecture of first year thinking how long the course was, and scoffing at the lecturers who told us before we knew it we would be coming to the end. And I still have so much knowledge to re-learn after forgetting it all during my intercalated year. Well, one things for sure, next year should be...interesting..!

But above all:
This year this is for my friends, group of absolute geniuses who I know will make incredible and caring doctors (hopefully next year I can do the same with the "halfa" in my blog title!!!)

Halfadoc x

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Drs ABC at a post office

Drs ABC at a post office

Hello again, I've been gone for a while as I was frantically writing my medical school dissertation.  And if you've been reading my blog for a while you might remember from my intercalated year just how much I LOVE writing research projects. For those of you who are new to this blog, I hasten to add that this is sarcasm.  But, it is DONE. Feels pretty good (plus two committee positions that I have been undertaking which involved a great deal of work have just come to an end, so I'm the most free I have been all year :D)

The two bound copies of my completed dissertation - needless to say the pink scribble is not on the actual copies but to protect anonymity! 

However whilst last week was mostly a case of being permanently attached to my desk and trying to make myself write this ^ damn thing, one of my few ventures out into the real world did yield a blog worthy story.

The context: So there I was standing in a massive queue for the post office, rather annoyed because the packages I was collecting should have been there 2 weeks ago (our local post office is widely known for being really shoddy lately, its in the local papers regulary) and instead had of course come on the one day that no one was in the house but due to their crappness lately I wasn't risking getting them redelivered and instead had paid £3.60 in parking to collect them (one was too big for cycling) and was wasting my time doing so when I should be writting dissertation.  So I was quite annoyed and was planning complaining at the counter as well about the fact one of my packages STILL hadn't arrived (and in fact STILL hasn't another week on... ....).  Anyway enough of my postage rant, but that gives you an idea of the context.  Oh and further context is that I was dressed like a total slob in trackies and a hoody (ironically my medical school hoody) as thats what I wear when I'm writing essays etc.  Anywhere so there I am, queuing, in a bad mood, dressed like a slob, when....

The event: The girl in front of me collapses! Now I didn't have to think too hard about my first action, I assumed she had fainted from standing too long (as I've said before, I'm prone to doing this so that was my immediate assumption for her).  As a result my first words to her were "Are you ok?".  I wasn't at all expecting her not too respond.  When she didn't I went into "first aid" mode from what I have been taught on countless courses and said loudly directly into her ear "Can you hear me??", when she still didn't respond I added a shoulder pinch (no no no, not to be mean but because this is what I have been taught).  [There then was a brief moment when I thought shit I'd better put her into recovery position but fortunately I calmed down and remembered I needed to check one or two things before I jumped to this stage!]
At this point I realised she really wasn't responding and asked the people in the queue behind (none of whom as of yet had offered any help) if anyone was there with her, no one was.  Someone then asked if I wanted them to call an ambulance, which was a good prompt to be honest as this is the next stage really when someones not responding so I said yes please call an ambulance.  Fortunately someone asking this reminded me to calm down and go back to the basic Drs ABC algorithm for what to do in these situations (if you don't know what I mean, the picture below explains it but not what you should do at each stage - google it or even better go on a first aid course, you can literally save a life from knowing 5 basic steps).   So I turned the patient over (and as I did so did actually have a brief scan of the girls wrists to see if she had a medic alert bracelet but I only saw what look like a watch).  At this point someone else scuttled over and said lets take off her scarf , which I didn't think was entirely the most important next point as it was far too loose to be impeding her breathing and wasn't going to stop me doing the "Head tilt, chin lift" to open her airway but I let them do it and just said something awkward like I'm a medical student if that helps at that point they promptly backed away, happy to leave someone else to do it instead and reassured that despite looking young I had a vague idea what to do... At the same time I realised that yes, I probably was the most medically qualified person here, oh god oh god oh god!! But quickly checked nothing was in her mouth and then id the head tilt chin lift to open her airway and was about to listen for breathing when she started incoherently responding - PHEWWWWWWWWWWWW

I realised the first thing she was trying to say was that she DID have a medic alert bracelet (that watch thing? verrrrry sneakily engraved in small letters on one of the links!) , then as she came round more I took her history, tried to see if she had any prn meds she usually took in this situation (she didn't and in fact hadn't taken her regular medication for a week which is almost certainly why she had collapsed) and passed everything on to the ambulance operator on the phone.  She was shivering a bit so I put my hoody over her, and someone else in the queue offered theirs.  Eventually a post office first aid person came out, checked the ambulance had been called and then did absolutly nothing (literally didn't even chat to the girl, it was insane).  Fortunately the ambulance crew turned up quickly and I was relieved there was someone more qualified to take over!

The ambulance man made sure someone went and got her package while he was checking her bp etc which I though was a nice touch.

But yeah, a bit more dramatic than your average trip to the post office! Was retrospectively quite exhilarating though ( I think this is ok to say because she was ok in the end).

Learn first aid, go on a course, its simple and you could save a life

Halfadoc xx

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

ENT department trolls

Call me paranoid, but there MUST be an ENT department conspiracy to stop me attending my timetabled sessions/ just generally waste my time, surely this many clinics are not normally cancelled?!

I've had 3 (out of a timetabled 6) ENT clinics cancelled, plus an audiology clinic.  Of the 2 ENT clinics I have attended (the 3rd will be tomorrow) both times I've been in with a GP trainee (who therefore see less patients than say ENT consultants) while my colleagues have been in with the consultant/ registrar.  Both these clinics have had many of their few patients not attend and started at least an hour later than timetabled.  The audiology clinic I finally attended made me wait an hour in the waiting area before telling me they wouldn't actually have any patients till 11am - what? Why not mention this say an hour earlier so I could go to the library and get something done?!?

As a result I have probably seen 6 conscious ENT patients (I have seen more in surgery) and really know very little about ENT, haven't got 2 of my clinical skills signed off through literally no fault of mine, and I think its fair to say this rotation has well and truly put me off ENT! Rant over (for now ;D)

Its not really a conspiracy though, as I'm not the only student who has had issues getting into clinics - especially with audiology clinics.  Strangely I managed to attend audiology with no problems in 3rd year when I had to attend 10 random hospital departments for a sign off, walked straight in then, irony.  I wonder if I accidently stole a 4th years clinic? :/.

Friday, 30 March 2012

An average week of a fourth year medical student: Friday

An average week of a fourth year medical student: Friday

Firstly I finally just got down and did a reasonable amount of essay, woo! Secondly yes this does mean I am in at home on a Friday night doing essay rather than out :/ still on the plus side at least I don't have finals in a few weeks like my fifth year friends!
I'm so sorry...I just couldn't resist!

So its friday today, which means it is GP day, I don't have GP visits every Friday, just 8 in the year but today does happen to be one of those 8.
Here is my rough day:

8.15 Leave for GP surgery
8.50 Get stuck in a horrible traffic jam and only move 1mile in 30 mins. Perfect.
9.30 Arrive at GP surgery 30 mins late, and very stressed and panicked.  GP is ok about this though and very understanding - phew!
9.40-11.00 See patients at the GP surgery, a good mix of cases but mostly older patients due to the demographic of the town this GP surgery is in.  Quite a few "heart sink" patients though like an elderly lady who has recently gone blind, has epilepsy as well and now is also very depressed.  She is a "heart sink" patient because its quite difficult for the GP to treat her depression through medication at any rate as anti depressants can increase the amount of seizures in those with epilepsy and also certain antidepressants may interact with epilepsy drugs so this makes it harder for the doctor to choose a treatment for her which will not complicate  things further.
11.00-12.00 The GP goes on house calls at this point.  This GP surgery seems to do a lot more house calls than other surgeries I have been attached to although maybe this is partially because of the older population here.

The house calls bring a whole new level to the heart sink factor as the five the GP I am shadowing takes are all at a care home for people with very advanced dementia.  It does really shock me how absent some of the residents in this care home are, some are able to answer the GPs equations about their symptoms but others are simply staring vacantly at the walls/ ceiling.  Now when I say phrases like "vacant" I don't mean any disrespect to the patients or their families, that's just simply how it is, some of these patients had such advanced dementia that they had absolutely no idea what was going on around them and didn't ever realise the doctor was there.  These cases are heart breaking as there is so little that can be done for the patient (beyond treating whatever acute bout of illness has caused the doctor to be summoned).  I think in many ways its probably harder for the relatives than the patients once an individual reaches this degree of illness because beyond the occasional lucid moment that they may have, for the most part the patient will not be aware that things had been different / that they are ill.

Afternoon:  I picked up those desk chairs I bought off ebay, definitely a bargain at £5.98! And fortunately it turns out you can fit 4 desk chairs in a ford ka, if you try really really hard! Anyway means I can now sit at my desk and write my essay on a comfy seat rather than a wooden fold out seat stolen from elsewhere in my house!

Met up with my research supervisor and get some of the stuff I need though not all of it, he is a very nice guy and we randomly talk about other career progression things for most of the meeting.  He always enthuses me research wise when I meet up with him, its just when I'm not meeting up with him it can be quite tricky to hear back from him and get help with the bits I need help with :/.

In the evening, I cook/eat dinner, do a decent amount of essay, write this and now its bedtime and the weekend!

My weekend will not be exciting so here is its summary: Tomorrow I will be working till 5.30 at WHSmiths earning money for food and other such luxuries (or for another four desk chairs, who knows!), Sunday I am determined to virtually finish that essay.

So there you go, the average (rather than exciting stories) week of a fourth year medical student :)

Halfadoc x

Thursday, 29 March 2012

An average week of a fourth year medical student: Thursday

An average week of a fourth year medical student: Thursday

Bit of an annoying day today, just kind of one of those days where nothing goes quite right/ as you planned it.

So to start with today is my designated research day, now my research hasn't been going very well this year at all through no fault of my own (but probably one of those things thats better not to moan too much about on this blog in case my identity is not as anonymous as I would like to think it is).  Well for the unmentioned-moan-reasons a lot of my Thursdays have effectively just been days off this year as I haven't been able to do anything with them, but today I hoped I was actually going to be able to get some of the data I need to get.  I spoke to my supervisor on Friday in person and it looked like I was going to be able to come in today and get some of my data but he needed to talk to some of his colleagues and check this and then let me know what time.  He ask me to email him and remind him, so I did this first thing on Monday....

.....Wednesday morning: Still no reply... *Emailed him again with a polite nagging email*....
.....Wednesday Evening pre sleep: Still no reply :/ great, set my alarm for 9am so I can see if he replies first thing

9am: No reply... Reset alarm for 10am....
10am: No reply, decide he clearly can't do today and turn alarm off going for a lie in.
10.30: He replies saying to come in for 12.30 (yep thats 2 hours notice when the drive to get there is around an hour...) I'm asleep now so don't see this!
11.30: I wake up, see email. Too late! By the time I'm changed and ready thats just toooooo late.

Quite frustrating tbh!

I realise he is a busy clinician and probably get tons of emails, still it is frustrating because he gets funding from the medical school for each student he supervises and if he doesn't have time to offer each of us the help we need (which really isn't that much) then he probably shouldn't take on as many students :/

So the first part of my day (admittedly not morning due to the excessive lie in...) was spent trying to rearrange this, it is now hopefully happening tomorrow.

So then I decide to make today a day of serious essay work, I set up my desk just so, (with a very geeky dualscreen system set up so that I can read journals and have my essay up at the same time, very geeky but also very useful) and start essay.

My nice tidy desk and organised dualscreen system! (and yes that is a coffee cup on the desk...standard)

Do about an hour of good work when I get a text from the president of a committee I'm on asking me to meet someone this afternoon about a talk we are doing later this year.  Well I could hardly say I was busy when I was just sat at home but it was unfortunate timing when I was actually genuinely being productive for once.  The meeting ends up taking two and half hours which with time for getting there and getting ready (out of my essay writing very non professional slob clothes of trackies and a hoody and bedlook hair) was really 3 and a half hours gone from my day.  Not to mention that my concentration was completely shot after the meeting (it was a necessary and productive meeting, just bad timing for me productivity wise!) and I certainly wasn't feeling as productive.

Still finally 6pm: Start doing some work for about another hour, but then I have to go on a pre decided supermarket shop and cook dinner....eat dinner... and before you know its late and I haven't done anywhere near as much essay as I planned :( Fail of a day really, and very boring too, no interesting clinical stuff for you the reader to hear about today I'm afraid! Maybe tomorrow :) (and maybe I will do a decent amount of essay tomorrow too!)


Wednesday, 28 March 2012

The average week of a fourth year medical student: Wednesday

The average week of a fourth year medical student: Wednesday

7.30- 8.25: The usual excessive pressing of snooze!
8.30-8.45: The equally usual rush to get ready and quickly downed coffee
8.50: *Once again running late!!*

^ I really do wish these things had never been invented!

9.05-12.30:  A morning in the eye hospitals A+E department
Eye hospital A+E is in someways much like a regular A+E in that patients can just self refer and turn up on the day with eye problems and wait to be seen, equally GP's (and because its the eyes: opticians) can suggest to patients that they attend the A+E and refer them.

In some other ways though its very different to a normal A+E, for starters I saw a number of patients today (and during subsquent mornings I have sat in on this department) who had appointments booked for them for a weeksa time to come back and check things are progressing/improving as they should.  This makes it almost more like a clinic or GP appointment system - in regular A+E if a doctor told a patient to bring themselves back into the A+E department to be rechecked they would probably receive some very harsh words from colleagues and hospital doctors!  But I suppose the eye is such a specialised area that there no point telling the patient to get their GP to recheck them in a week because without the special equipment the eye hospital has and years of specific expertise in that area, a GP wouldn't stand a chance of picking up any reasonably subtle but important eye changes.

Saw quite a few interesting patients today but also had a lot of waiting about in between patients due to the nature of A+E and amount of refering to other departments the poor overworked registrar had to do.  Here are the top three most interesting patients:

1. A patient who had herpes zoster (aka shingles) and had been unfortunate enough to get eye involvement with her shingles and was first seen by the eye team last week and now was being followed up..  She had whats called "Herpes Zoster Opthalmicus" which simply refers to the  region that her shingles had appeared (it is in the opthalmic division of the trigeminal nerve) - over the right hand side of her forehead going down to below her eye.  The worrying possible complication of when shingles affects this area is that it can cause eye problems such as uveitis, conjunctivitis, keratitis and ocular nerve palsys although these are reasonably rare.  This patient when she first presented to her GP the previous week was recorded as having something called "hutchinson's sign" which is where there are shingle vesicles on the tip of their nose.  This is significant as the nerve which supplies this area (the nasociliary branch) also innervates the globe of the eye, so patients with this sign are twice as likely to develop eye involvement with their shingles (where as having herpes zoster opthalmicus with vesicle on the eyelids does not increase risk from herpes zoster opthalmicus where the vesicles are just on the foreheard).

Herpes Zoster Opthalmicus

 Unfortunately for todays patient she had got eye involvement and had developed anterior uveitis a week ago.  Uveitis is inflammation anywhere in the uveal tract and the anterior part just means it was affecting the front of the eye.  However after a weeks treatment the patient was actually doing a lot better, but has to slowly come off the eye drops over the next 8 weeks to try and prevent worsening/ recurrence.

2.  A patient with a coldsore (herpes simplex causing a dendritic shaped corneal ulcer) in his eye!! Another unlucky chap as this is reasonably rare as well.

3. An eleven year old who came in with the most swollen eye I have ever seen outside of medical pictures.  Poor poor boy it looked so painful.  Apparently it is an infection probably from within his body although he feels systemically well at the moment.  He was referred straight across the road to the childrens hospital to have IV antibiotics because the doctor wasn't sure if he had slight orbital cellulitis which is serious as it can be both sight and life threatening as it can enter the meningeal cavity (in other words there is a small risk of developing meningitis from it).

The boys eye looked pretty similar to this but without the red scabs this childs eye has

Wednesday afternoons are usually off for "sport", I am probably one of the rarer medical students who does actually use them for this but as I said yesterday BUCs matchs are finished now so this time is now available :) 

12.45- 4.30:  Had a nice lunch out in the sunshine with my rabbit hopping about, met the new next door neighbours because they were peering over the wall watching their cat who was out in this area for the first time.  Made friends with the next door neighbours quickly when they spotted Chunks and exclaimed that they had rabbits too and held theirs over the wall to meet me!

Wrote some of this blog out there and did a little ophthalmology reading but then actually got too hot (remarkably for march!) so I've headed back inside and am ready to do a serious amount of essay work! (I did do some yesterday, but lots more to do).

Till tomorrow!


Tuesday, 27 March 2012

An average week of a fourth year medical student: Monday

An average week of a fourth year medical student: Tuesday

So what actually happened after my committee meeting yesterday? Yeah, the room didn't get tidied and no work was done, oppsy.  Instead my partner came round and we ate pizza and chatted to my housemates, oh well!
Still new day, new chance for that essay to get written....

8.15: Actually get up despite having the morning off! (The advantages to dating a final year who does not have mornings off!).  Its a lovely day here in my part of the country, feels almost like summer :). 

09.00 ish : Get showered and changed and start being constructive in the form of emails and phone calls I've been putting off for a while.  Oh and of course : Coffee!

This isn't my picture but sums up my day today pretty well :), happy halfadoc!

10.30-12.30: Got my room back to spotlessly tidy, looks much nicer now :)

12.30: Coffee and toasted teacake break :) then a quick spot of ebaying (I need a desk chair - house came unfurnished and still haven't got one and haven't had any room in bedroom for said chair until recent tidying spell ;D)
1.30: Head to afternoon clinic, take a textbook with me because last time the doctor didn't turn up for ages....

1.45-2.30: *Read textbook*

2.30: See an interesting patient with one of the nurses, he is virtually blind in one eye (can only see light and movement) and has extremly bad vision in the other eye due to a cataract which was due to be operated on a few weeks ago but they discovered during the pre op assessment that he had an eye infection so the operation had to be postponed.

When the nurse got him to read down the eye chart with his "good" eye, it wasn't immediately obvious which line he was trying to read as what he was saying didn't resemble any of the lines in the slightest, the nurse asked him again to read the top line multiple more times before she was sure that that was the line he was trying and his eye sight was simply that bad.   This means this patients vision at SIX metres was so bad that he couldn't see a letter which was sized so those with normal vision can see it at SIXTY metres, so pretty bad!!

I wasn't too impressed with the nurse in general with this patient though because he was a fairly confused elderly gentleman and she was quite grumpy/ rude with him just because sometimes he took a bit longer to understand her instructions.  I know she must be busy but I do hope that however busy I get in the future I don't lose patience with those who for no fault of their own take up a little bit more time than the average patient.

My patient couldn't read the top line of a "snellen chart" like the one shown in this cartoon

2.40ish: Doctor arrives
The first thing he asks me is what clincal skills I still need completing which saves me the awkwardness of asking him, so this is quite nice :).  The patients are for the most case pretty bog standard follow ups and mostly all patients with glaucoma who have to be monitored once/twice a year.   I get to do my clinical skills though and rather than it just being a matter of getting the sign offs, the tips he have definitely helped my actual ability so this part of the clinic was useful.

The doctor quizzes me on a various things throughout and for the most part I actually do pretty well as they mostly happen to be the bits I read whilst waiting for him. WINNER!!

4.30 ish: Clinic still on going but Doctor signs off my clinic and suggests I see if theres anything more interesting going on in the A+E department but if not tells me I can go home because "you have above average knowledge about the eye anyway" - wooo never has bringing a textbook with me ever been such a good idea before!  There were other students in A+E so I couldn't get in and headed home.

4.45: Have somehow bought FOUR desk chairs for £5.98 (all together!) second hand from ebay. Interesting.... I wonder if I can sell the other 3 using the Friday ad and make some profit?!

Fortunately I didn't buy *quite* this many chairs

5.00- 6.30:  Been sitting out in the garden enjoying the surprisingly warm weather with my lovely rabbit Chunks (he's erm a sturdier build than most rabbits) running about while I type this and sort out a few other internet things.  Its been a pretty good day!

Action shot of chunks in the garden
Chunks tired after all that hopping about

Normally at this time on a tueday I would be at sports training, but we had our last "BUCS" (the university league) match last week and also the rest of the uni are now on their easter holidays (damn them!) so I'm free to get on with work, joy! So time to conquer some more of that essay... wish me luck!

Halfadoc x

Monday, 26 March 2012

An average week of a fourth year medical : MONDAY

An average week of a fourth year medical student: Monday

Well this series of posts will literally do what they say on the tin.. I'm going to tell you exactly what I've been up to this week, it probably won't be in much reflective detail (unless I get carried away...hopefully not, I've got work to be doing!) but it will give all of you out there thinking of doing medicine a realistic idea of what clinical years are like.  I have to say though fourth year is our easiest clinical year so maybe I will do the same next year when I am a final year just so you don't think its too easy ;)


7.00: First alarm... *snooze*
7.10: *reset alarm for 7.30*
7.30: *Snooze*
7.40: *Manually snooze for another 5 minutes*
7.45: Finally sit up, and grab energy drink placed next to bed last night (I was finally being constructive late last night and stayed up till 3.30am as a result as I know me and if I didn't then the task I was doing would remain half done).

Lidl energy drink, dragging me through medical school since 2009 (the year I moved to a house ridiculously near my local lidl ;)

8.05: Finally make it out of bed, grab some passable clinical clothes, quick wash and get ready.
8.15: Boil kettle! Yep, more caffeine.
8.17: Discover milk gone off, *swear*. Put cold water into coffee and drink it black *bleurgh*.

8.22: Running late! To the hospital!!

08.35: Arrive at eye hospital (currently on ophthalmology)
08.40: Get into scrubs - this mornings session is watching eye surgery.
0.9.00- 12.10
Watch 3 x Vitrectomys - these are operations to remove the vitreous humor (a gel between lens and the retina which should be clear) from the eye.  These patients were having this operation because an "Epiretinal membrane" had formed on their macula and they needed to have the vitreous removed and then this membrane removed (membranectomy), there are other causes for this operation though such as retinal detachment.

I got to watch one of the operations through the "spare" microscope head, which made me feel totally badass and like I was on greys anatomy (even though a) It was eye surgery not neurosurgery and B) I wasn't doing anything just watching and making sure I didn't touch the surgical field!).

I'm totally this cool, honest...

You get an unbelievable view down the microscope compared to the screen where I watched the other two operations, and you really get to appreciate how skilled and impressive the   ophthalmologists are - they have to be able to make the tiniest movements ever, no room for those with shaky hands here!

We received quite a lot of teaching during the morning from both the consultant and the scrub nurse, a very welcoming team :).

An interesting morning but I have to say I do find eye surgery quite gross, though that's partly due to watching Final Destination 5 recently, regret seeing that before my ophthalmology rotation!!

The eye lasering scene from final destination.... the instrument holding her eye open is the same as is actually used, fortunately nothing else was the same as in the film!!

12.10- 13.45: A quick trip to lidl (milk!!) then lunch and a nice coffee with milk made from coffee I bought from the plantation near where I was on elective in Tanzania.  Its is AMAZING coffee and normally properly wakes me up but today I was too tired for even that to combat the midday sleepiness.  Grab another lidl energy drink to take to lectures in case I'm falling asleep.

14.00-15.30: Lecture on back of the eye pathologys, its ok and quite well taught but theres quite a lot to get through and it does drag a bit, energy drink was a good call!!

15.30- 16.15: We go down to the clinics to be taught fundoscopy and practice on each other.  Unfortunately this was a bad clinical skill for her to choose to teach us as probably is one of the few skills we have got to practice quite a bit recently, so this wasn't amazingly helpful.

16.15-16.45: I still need most of my clinical skills signed off in my dreaded logbook and this is the last week of ophthalmology (we only have 3 weeks its not like I've been incredibly lazy!) so I manage to grab a nurse who had previously said that he would help us get these skills signed off.  I practice on another student and her on me (she already had the skills signed off but he was a very good teacher so hopefully this was still useful for her!) and get a couple of them  signed off but more importantly actually do learn quite a lot, he was brilliant.

17.00 - 17.35: Back home and writing this blog!! Have a committee meeting at 6pm which will probably be a couple of hours, and then I plan to come  back home, tidy my room quickly (I'm trying to turn over a new leaf and be all tidy and organised...this is very unnatural for me! I was doing quite well at keeping my room tidy but then I was ill at the end of last week so fell a bit behind on everything, need to get it sorted now before it becomes a tip which will take hours to sort out again!)  whilst pizza is in oven and then after dinner get some work done.  Will see ;).

So that's my Monday :), tune in tomorrow for my Tuesday...

Halfadoc x

Friday, 23 March 2012

Blonde medic moment: number 1

Blonde medic moment: number 1

Ok, I've been thinking about how I can make sure I blog more even when I'm busy, and I've come to the conclusion that sometimes it might be better to write short posts about amusing moments even if they are not necessarily recent events or coming in chronological order with my main longer posts...

So here starts a new series of posts that I will slot in whenever I feel like it (and whenever they happen) "Blonde medic moments".

So, yeah, I'm pretty blonde in both a literal and metaphorical sense (however much I argue against the blonde stereotype when everyone else suggests it..), so sometimes on the wards I do some pretty stupid stuff, bad times perhaps but good blogging stories? Maybe :).

Blonde medic moment: number 1

An elderly care teaching ward round in third year...

So we are round an elderly lady's bed being taught by the consultant, there are only three of us and one of the other students is examining the patient who is sitting in her chair; I am the only student standing on the far side of the bed.

Now unfortunately the elderly care ward has a tendency to be very hot and whenever we  stand around a patients bed with the curtains pulled on that particular ward for some time I suffer from feeling really faint and like I'm actually going to faint or be sick (neither would probably be deemed particularly professional!).  So whenever I can I try to lean/ prop myself against things on the ward (eg. half sit on a radiator), perhaps not particularly professional either but when I feel like I'm about to faint I'll go for anything that might ease the faintness slightly! This ladies bed was unfortunately lacking in anything I could lean against and was incredibly hot and I was feeling awful, which is what lead to the first blonde moment (and probably chronologically was my first on the wards though certainly has not been the last!)....

As the patient was sitting in her chair, I decided to subtly lean slightly onto my hands which were on her bed (and yes I know, infection control wise I probably shouldn't have been but I promise that a) I had used alcohol gel on entering that patients bed area and b) It was that or potentially be sick on her bed..the greater infection control risk!).  Now what I hadn't realised as I did this was that firstly the patient had a special air mattress (not sure what her reasons were but special mattresses tend to be for reasons like stopping bed sores) and secondly that the valve was right near where I was standing...

Yes, you guessed it, suddenly there was a loud raspberrying sound and the bed started deflating rapidly before our eyes.  The other students were not touching the bed...
I didn't actually even try and say this... that probably wouldn't have gone down well!
The consultant was actually a very nice consultant and looked at me with a mixture of amusement, exasperation and pity as I turned beetroot and frantically (and unsuccessfully) tried to fiddle with the valve and stop the bed from deflating.  In the end he continued teaching and I had to sheepishly ask a nurse to re inflate the patients fully deflated bed after we were finished.  Not my finest moment but probably not my worst either... more to come in the future :p.

Patients bed didn't look dissimilar by the end...