Module 1 Placement: Week 2

“I really enjoyed that mortuary tour!” said no one. Ever. You know what’s more fun than being shown counselling rooms, the labs where post mortems happen, (note that I said where they happen and not watching an actual post mortem), and the fridges where bodies are stored? Anything. It was a not-so-exciting tour that was only surpassed in tedium by last week’s pathology labs one.

On a more positive note though, today was my last day of secondary care placement till next year! This week involved more work on clinical skills like blood pressure, TPR (temperature, pulse and respiration rate), and basic life support (CPR). We got taught how to fill in a patient’s observation chart, and I was very lucky because the health care assistants on a ward I was on, allowed me to do observations on actual patients! So I got to take and record their blood pressure, pulse, temperature, resp rate, oxygen saturations, and score them using the Early Warning Cascade. COOL.

We also had a session on how to use the BNF, which I found very helpful. The BNF is the British National Formulary, and is a guide to prescribing. It is updated twice annually (monthly online) and lists recommended doses, side effects, indications, contraindications, drug interactions and so on, so it was quite a useful session.

I had shadowing sessions in neurology, rheumatology, respiratory, and diabetes outpatient clinics, which were quite interesting. The consultant I was with in the diabetes clinic kept asking me questions that I didn’t know the answer to. It was only when he said, “You’ve just had teaching on this!” that I realised he thought I was a 3rd year. I explained that I’d only just finished Module 1, and he apologised for being so harsh. Lesson learnt? Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know;” you’re not expected to know everything!

Managed to take more patient histories this week, and have quite a few to choose from for my logbooks*, yay. I also finished my SSS presentation about 15 hours before the deadline, so that was a relief. Now I just need to practise it for the presentation in January, yaaay…

*Logbook= Collection of patient cases that is presented and assessed in an 11 minute OSCE station, and must have a balance of primary and secondary care patient cases.


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