Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Merry Christmas!

Well, I've made it to the end of term.

I must say that this has been a very up and down semester for me. Whilst I've learned lots and been kept busy (definitely a good thing for me) I've found there have been periods where I've felt stressed and unstimulated in equal amounts. As mentioned in my previous post, the staffing on my ward wasn't amazing. This meant that on more than one occassion, I was the most senior medic present. Given that I'm not qualified and therefore can't prescribe drugs (or even simple fluids) or do most procedures unsupervised, it meant I felt rather useless. At one point I was asked to see a patient who could potentially been very sick when there was no doctor present. Whilst he turned out not to be too unstable, the situation could have been rather disaterous. I'm not entirely sure what the right thing to do in that situation is, but I decided that taking a quick history, doing a brief examination, sending off some bloods and then bleeping my consultant was the way forward. No idea what I'd have done if I'd arrived to find him unstable - probably just skipped the history and bleeped someone asap. Hopefully I don't find myself in that situation again until I'm at least able to do something reasonable about it.

Despite my stressful experiences, there were plenty of good things about this block. I've got far more confident doing and interpreting bloods and ECGs, and I've been able to do an ascitic tap and insert a paracentesis drain. It comes very naturally to me to be negative about things, and in particular myself and my abilities, however if I'm honest I probably did quite well. All the consultants I worked with were very complimentary about me and said I'd make a good junior, which was nice to hear. One of the registrars even said I shouldn't go into paeds (as is the plan) because they wanted me in medicine. He was probably just being nice, but it was still good to hear something positive.

Continuing on a positive note (it really doesn't come easy to me, but I'm trying!), I've won a prize! I'm not actually sure what it means, but it's a student prize from the Royal College of Paediatrics & Child Health. I was nominated by a consultant I've done a bit of work with, which was nice. I'm fairly sure he only nominated me because I've annoyed him enough for him to remember my name, but none the less it was nice to get some recognition that I'm not totally rubbish. I'm getting to go to their annual conference in May, which will hopefully be really interesting as well as a good networking opportunity. I have submitted a paper to present there too, and I'll find out in January whether that's been accepted.

Well, it's now the holidays and a few days in I'm getting medicine withdrawal symptoms - so if any of you need any help researching/writing anything or want a student to analyse some data for you - get in touch!

Have a lovely Christmas everyone xxx

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