Module 1 Placement: Final Week

So we’ve come to the end of our first secondary care placement, and this week was also a busy one. I was quite tired by the end of it because I stayed up late quite a few nights, even when I knew I had early clinics the next day. Why do I do this to myself? Because I am silly, that’s why.

A highlight of the week was ENT Surgery on Monday; I didn’t get to help out this time, but I had a good chat with the anaesthetist and learnt quite a lot about what they do. I also enjoyed shadowing a consultant in the cardiology clinic- he was very understanding about me not knowing much because I’m only in first year, and really broke things done for me to understand. I was also able to practise taking blood pressure on the ward, so that was useful.

We had a lot of clinical skills revision this week to prep us for our formative OSCE, which we had at the end of the week. Shout out to my medic “parents” for all their help and support, as they organised a chilled revision session for me and my “brother,” so lovely!

Anyway, how did the OSCE go? Well there were 6 stations in total, 5 of them were five minutes long, and the 6th one (logbooks) was 10 minutes. We had a minute to read the briefing for each station, and this OSCE was unique because it’s the only one we’ll have that’s formative, as we were able to get feedback straight away.

Okay enough stalling, how did I do?

Well, my first station was blood pressure. I went in, introduced myself, washed my hands, got the patient’s consent, and recorded his details. I even chose the right cuff (yeah, things were going well); I found the brachial pulse easily, got the systolic estimate using his radial pulse, and started inflating again for the reading… This was where things started to go wrong. Basically I inflated too high, made the nozzle too tight and couldn’t undo it, so I struggled to get a reading, as I couldn’t hear anything. I decided to start again and managed to get a systolic value, but ran out of time before I could get the diastolic… Darn. I was gutted, but the examiner said my technique was accurate, so he didn’t fail me. I got a ‘borderline,’ which is not exactly a pass, but not exactly a fail either. I guess it could have been worse?

The next station was consultation skills, which I thought went okay. The examiner said I was “too sympathetic,” and that I need to find out more about patients’ symptoms before I start validating their concerns. In a station where we get the most marks for exploring and showing understanding of a patient’s feelings, only I would get penalised for not “reining it in,” right? Typical.

I did well in Basic Life Support (CPR), the examiner loved how dramatic and over the top I was, and the same in basic observations (recording temperature, pulse and respiration rates), woooo. Only dropped one mark in urinalysis and hand washing, YAY, and it was such a silly mark to lose- OFCOURSE people with controlled diabetes won’t necessarily have glucose in their urine, duhhhhhhh.

Finally, the logbook station. I was nervous about this, because I really hoped the examiner wouldn’t grill me too much. I ended up presenting the pancreatitis case, and it went okay, thank God! I was able to answer the majority of his questions too, yay again!

And that was the OSCE! We should be getting the proper break down of our marks soon, but I think I’ve done enough to pass, fingers crossed!

Back to lectures now; we had our first Module 2 PBL session today, and we’ve started on the musculoskeletal system… Exciting times ahead.

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