Module 4 Placement: Cardiology

I’ve always found cardiology quite intimidating. The heart is really important, you know, and kind of a big deal, so the fact that this year is all the teaching we’ll get on it before we’re doctors is a bit scary. Also, as I didn’t do A Level Biology, I still feel like there are some gaps in my knowledge, so I think that’s why I was bit nervous going into this module.

Placement has been really good so far though! This module has been the most organised because it’s split into two weeks of cardiology, one week of stroke, and one week of vascular, which works really well because those are the four weeks of lectures that we’ve had.

I started with cardiology, and for the first time this year, I’m in a group on placement with someone in my PBL group, yay! It was an intense two weeks, but I really enjoyed it, and there were many highlights, such as:

  1. Getting told by a consultant that I show a lot of empathy (we had just seen a patient who cried because she was scared to have surgery), and that I shouldn’t lose that. It was the first time I’ve been told that being so empathetic is not a bad thing, and that really made my day.
  2. DEFIBRILLATION. So. Much. Fun.
  3. Being in clinic with one of the best consultants I’ve shadowed so far. I was scared/in awe of her for the majority of it- she grilled me a lot by asking me to interpret ECGs and diagnose patients after examining them. I didn’t have a watch, and there wasn’t a clock in the examination room, so instead of telling the consultant this, I asked patients to count 15 seconds in their head for me, in order to calculate their pulse rate. Lesson from this? Invest in a nurse’s watch!
  4. ECGs are not as bad as I thought they were, but I definitely need to practise going through them more. Proud moment was correctly diagnosing 1st degree heart block in clinic with the tough consultant- I even did a happy dance when she left the room, but managed to compose myself before she came back, ofcourse.
  5. Our SimMan sessions were really good- I now feel more prepared for it possibly coming up as an OSCE station. SimMan is used for patient simulations like cardiac assessment, respiratory failure, and anaphylaxis, and even though I was told that I’m a bit bossy  (I prefer ‘assertive’), it was a very fun session; we didn’t kill SimMan yay!
  6. Finally, hearing murmurs and not having to pretend that I did lol (The struggle was real at the start of this module…)

It’s cray that we only have one more week of placement left! Stroke week finishes tomorrow, and then we start on vascular, fun times ahead 🙂

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