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Module 10 Placement: Week 2

Guess who’s now on 50% weight bearing??

I had the first of the wedges removed from my boot yesterday, so I can start to put a bit more weight on my healing leg, yay for progress!

Second week of paeds placement has seen me battling an awful cough and cold, which hasn’t been great, but lozenges and water have kept me going. I’ve mostly spent my time in various clinics, but I’m still enjoying it though, so I haven’t been put off quite yet.

Neuro clinic was particularly interesting because I saw 14 year old twins with Charcot Marie Tooth, so that was pretty cool. Their personalities reminded me a lot of The Keen One a.k.a Kenny and I, so getting to examine them was really fun.

Paediatric Physio was a bit of a bummer because a lot of the patients didn’t turn up for their appointments, but I got to sit in a Talipes Clinic and watch as they put a Ponseti method cast on the patient’s legs, so it wasn’t too bad.

If you’ve ever wanted to know what it’s like to do a paediatric simulation session with reduced mobility/on one leg, you’re in the right place because it’s actually not too bad! I was hopping all over the place (my balance has gotten quite good over the last few weeks), but doing an ABC assessment was okay. So I’m feeling a bit less stressed about being on crutches for the OSCE.

Prescribing will always be my Everest, but getting there slowly…

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Module 10 Placement: Week 1

I’ll start with the less cheerful stuff, because I might as well get it out of the way.

The lowest point of this week was crying in the doctors office. I was aching all over from hobbling from our clinical skills building to the ward for an impromptu ward round, which I was 20 minutes late to. I absolutely hate being late to things so that made me feel crap, I’d just had an IV drug session that didn’t go too well, and I was just so frustrated by my immobility, because I’d thought that having the cast off would give me more freedom. I’m still on crutches, so yeah, that sucked.

And now, on to the good things.

I LOVE PAEDS.

This is definitely what I want to do because I’m really enjoying it so far, and for the first time ever, I’ve wanted to stay longer in clinics. I just love how varied it is, because paediatrics covers such a wide age range, so I’ve seen different presentations and conditions on the ward and in clinics.

I just love kids so much! Paeds is definitely making me broody, but I’ve always enjoyed working with children. Having a younger brother and young cousins, as well as being a Sunday school teacher in the past, has given me a lot of experience with being around young children, so interacting with and examinining them comes a bit easier to me.

Being on crutches for the placement I’ve been looking forward to most sucks, yes, but I can start doing some toe touch weight bearing now, so less stress on my wrists on the crutches, yay!

I continue to be blown away by the thoughtfulness of people towards me; from York Girl’s car lifts (so blessed that we’re in the same group), to the patience and understanding of consultants when I arrive late, and the clinical skills staff putting out chairs with pillows on them for me in teaching sessions, everyone has been really kind.

Scrubs and Crutches

We’ve had quite a lot of teaching on Safeguarding Children and Non-Accidental Injury this week, which has been pretty heavy and harrowing, but ofcourse, very important.

Another low part of this week was getting told off and asked to leave theatre, as the Sister nurse said me being there on crutches was a health and safety hazard, and that it was wrong of me to come. I tried to explain to her that the medical school and surgeon I was following had okayed it, but she wouldn’t budge and kept telling me to leave.

As you can imagine, this made me quite upset, and I got teary again because I don’t take well to being shouted at unfairly. It was particularly frustrating because I’d arrived just before 7am to follow a patient through their journey before and after surgery, so I was missing him being put under anaesthetic.

I was found by the consultants in my teary state, and they got really annoyed at the Sister’s dismissal of me. So they called a meeting with her team and fought my corner, arguing that it was unfair for me to miss out on important teaching when I was in no one’s way in theatre. They took full responsibility for any repercussions that might come about from me being in there, and even provided a stool for me to sit on, so that I could be comfortable as I watched the procedure.

I was just speechless and blown away by kindness again, how nice of them, right?

I was super proud of myself for managing to fit into scrubs- my first time wearing trousers in over a month. Can you tell that these are extra extra large bottoms that I’m wearing to fit my boot??

Scrubs and Crutches 2

Overall week 1 of paeds has been quite eventful; can’t wait to see what next week will bring!

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Module 6 Placement (Renal, Urology & Endocrine)

The last four weeks of placement have been very draining. Early buses and days filled with teaching, ward rounds and clinics have made it difficult for me to find time to revise for end of year exams, so my hopes of being able to post more frequent blog updates were dashed. Apologies to my keen readers, I can still see how many people are reading my posts, so I appreciate the views!

Anyway, how was placement? Well I’m still not a fan of the kidneys, but I don’t hate them as much as I did before. Nephrologists are pretty dang smart and seem to just have all the knowledge, so they’re pretty cool. One of the consultants we had teaching with spent one session going round the group, asking us questions individually, so that was very intense. The same consultant also put me on the spot during a ward round and asked me to take blood from a patient. I haven’t practised venepuncture since last year, so I was quite nervous, but luckily the patient had good veins, YAY.

Urology was very … meh. So many testicles and penises, and just no. Definitely not for me. I finally know the function of a scrotum though, so yay for that? Highlight of urology was getting to catheterise an actual patient in theatre, which was quite cool. Again, I was put on the spot by the surgeon, so I was very nervous because everyone was watching, but I got it in the urethra in one go, YAY.

(P.S. Shout out to the clinical skills tutor at the hospital I was in for being such a total babe, and I will explain why in another post, stay tuned x)

Finally, diabetes and endocrine. I really like endocrine – all the different axises and feedback mechanisms can get quite confusing not going to lie, but it all makes sense when you sit down and think things through. I find it similar to haematology in how it involves a lot of data interpretation and it’s a bit more chilled out, so I really enjoyed it. Diabetes was more dull because the diabetic clinics got quite repetitive, but the antenatal diabetes clinic was a particular highlight. SO MANY CUTE KIDS.

In other news, today was my end of module OSCE, which included stations on catheterisation, cannulation, data interpretation, as well as a shared decision communication skills station on dialysis. Overall it wasn’t too bad; there was definitely one station that I know I could have done better in, and I made some silly mistakes in other stations, but I’m glad it’s over and I can focus on written exams next week. Jesus, take the wheel!

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Module 8 Placement (Gastro) & End of Term

In the four years that have passed since I started this blog, I think this is the longest I’ve gone without an update.

To say this semester has been busy would definitely be an understatement, but I’m home now (YAY), and now have more free time (YAY again), so I can go back to blogging; I’ve really missed it.

A lot has happened in the last month, so I’ll start with some highlights from gastro secondary care placement:

Getting to scrub in and help out in theatre was really fun! It was useful to practise scrubbing in properly for the first time since first year, and the consultant we were with was very patient, such a nice man! The procedure was a panproctocolectomy (removal of the whole colon), and it was quite the procedure- so. much. blood.

I was absolutely grilled on CT interpretation during one of our sessions, and I never got to thank one of my colleagues, who sneakily whispered answers to me, saving me from embarrassment in front of everyone. The person probably didn’t think much of what they did, but it was much appreciated, and meant a lot.

We got to clerk patients from A&E when I stayed out of hours, and this put us on the spot because we had to present our findings to the consultant, and come up with management plans. I felt more junior doctor than medical student that evening, and it made me so excited to graduate and start doing it properly!

In a liver disease clinic, I watched the consultant give a fantastic explanation of Hepatitis C to a patient, and it was truly the best information giving I have ever seen. SO GOOD. The clinic also made me realise that I’d been quite judgmental about IV drug users in the past, so meeting an actual drug user completely shattered my misconceptions and prejudice.

I’m definitely not a natural at suturing- I struggled initially, and it took me a while to get the hang of it, but I’m think I’m there now… well, sort of.

Suturing

We received the results of our OSCE today, and I passed, HALLELUJAH. I’m just so relieved, because the OSCE was the toughest one I’ve had to date; suturing and ERCP interpretation were particularly not great, and not going to lie, there were definitely some tears afterwards, so I’m just grateful to God that overall it was okay.

What else have I been up to? Well the annual charity fashion show was last month too, and I modelled for New Look and the Nigerian Society, and it was so much fun!

New Look 2017Nigerian Society 2017

I’m also finally done with being a student caller for the year, and we managed to raise over £180,000 for various programs across the university, so I was honoured to a part of it all.

Boy am I glad the term is over though! With work and placement and volunteering and revision and well, socialising, ofcourse, it’s been very draining, so looking forward to relaxing over the next week at home 😀

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Why Am I So Accident Prone?

So, I’m walking with a limp again, and just like last time, it was caused by netball. Sigh.

For anyone who doesn’t know, my last week of neurology placement last semester involved me limping around the wards because I sprained my knee. This time, it’s my ankle that’s the problem, and I twisted it while playing netball with my housemates in the park.

It was a spontaneous decision to have a “throw about,” which is like a kick about but much better because it involves netball, and it was very cute and fun, even though I hurt my leg. Just look how happy we all were!

House Netball

On a positive note, I went home this weekend, so I was able to get some much needed TLC and food from Abs (my mother). My ankle is feeling better too, so here’s hoping I don’t do any more damage to it…

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Module 7 Placement: Neurology

NEURO IS VERY HARD.

You know what makes it even harder? Spraining your knee during placement so you’re walking with a limp around the wards. Not fun. Neurology placement was just a bit peak for me health wise to be honest- numerous headaches and waking up with a nosebleed weren’t fun, but I’m fine and got through it, so I thank God!

As someone who struggles with anatomy in general, neuro anatomy has been quite the challenge. To prepare for teaching sessions and clinics, I did pre-reading like I’ve never done before, because I was so scared of being picked on to answer a question and not knowing the answer.

I watched YouTube videos to revise/learn anatomy and physiology, and I highly recommend Handwritten Tutorials and Armando Hasudungan, because they break things down really well. Khan Academy is brilliant as well- forever in awe of people who got through medical school before the internet was a thing, because I would definitely not have made it this far without it.

What got me through the two weeks of neurology placement was the fact that I find it all so interesting. The brain is really amazing, and when you have a basic understanding of the different parts of it, you can start to understand the pathology behind the conditions that affect it. The same thing applies to radiology of the brain; familiarising yourself with normal anatomy is important because it makes it so much easier to pick out abnormalities. Radiology Masterclass is great for easy to follow tutorials and scans.

I had more free time during neuro, as I was back in our main hospital, which gave me more time to catch up on my logbooks and practise examinations. Cranial nerves, upper limb and lower limb; I went through them so many times and it got a bit repetitive, but that’s the best way to get good at them, in order to be able to do them quicker in OSCEs.

One of the best parts of neuro placement was a retired consultant who we had some teaching sessions with. He taught us without using PowerPoint slides or notes, and he’s one of the best lecturers I’ve ever had- engaging, knowledgeable, and just a really nice man! He retired many years ago, but still likes to come in to teach because he enjoys it so much. Not going to lie, I may have cried a bit when he gave us his phone number after our final session, and asked us to let him know how the OSCE goes. What a cutie!

The highlight of neurology was definitely my time on the ward. I got to speak to many lovely patients with a wide range of conditions such as epilepsy, Guillian Barre Syndrome, Myasthenia Gravis, Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, Parkinson’s Disease, and even meningitis! It makes such a different seeing these conditions in real life, and I learnt a lot from the patients.

I’m home for Christmas now, and what a term it’s been! I think I’ll do another post summarising the ups and downs of the first term of third year, as this one has gotten a bit long haha, so if you’ve managed to get to the end of this post, I appreciate the read!  😀

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Module 4 Placement: Vascular

Secondary care placement is over, HALLELUJAH! It has been a really long month, even though it also feels like it’s gone by really quickly as well? Weird.

Vascular week was tough. It involved being grilled a lot by consultants. Like, a A LOT. As in so much that I almost cried in theatre because the consultant I was with just wouldn’t stop, and everyone in the theatre started laughing at me. It really was awful.

Now, you’re probably thinking, “Wow such a crybaby, get over yourself?“, but I cry when I’m angry, as well as when I’m upset, you see, and when the consultant kept asking me questions about dialysis and the kidneys, I just couldn’t take it. I tried to tell him that we haven’t done the renal system yet, and he just laughed and said that his 8 year old son could answer the questions he was asking me. Cue even more laughter from the theatre staff. Not nice.

It was really unfair because I understand him having a go at me for not knowing things we’ve been taught, but when it’s questions on a module we don’t do till next year, WHY DO THIS? A lot of consultants can be so unnecessarily harsh sometimes, as if they don’t remember that they were medical students once too, and this has just made me so determined to be nice to students when I qualify (by God’s grace!).

Maybe I just massively overreacted, but he was mean, it was early in the morning, and I was really tired, okay? Just look at how happy I was in my scrubs before going in to theatre:

Scrubs
Ahh, if only I’d known what was to come…

It wasn’t all tears in vascular week though! Learning how to do ABPIs was fun, as was finally learning how to put on gloves properly in our sterile technique session. If only we’d had this teaching before last year’s end of year OSCE- I dropped the gloves on the floor and put them on anyway, so I really wasn’t that surprised when I failed the station to be honest… Yeah.

The week ended with time on the ward, where I got to take blood from a patient. The junior doctor had to help me find the vein, but I got there in the end! I also got to educate a patient on the meaning of my name, as his first response to me after I introduced myself was, “Your name is quite an odd one, isn’t it?” No, it really isn’t. Uncommon here? Maybe, but Taiwo means “tasted the world first,” and it’s a traditional Yoruba name for first born twins in Nigeria.

He found it all very interesting, and realised his faux pas in calling it odd, so we had a nice chat after that. This was a lesson that some patients are just ignorant and don’t mean to cause offense; all they need is some education on different cultures, and they will think twice before saying something problematic in the future! It was a lovely end to secondary care placement 🙂