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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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My First Student Job and An Update on the Life of Tai

It feels like it’s been a while since I’ve posted, and there are only two words to explain my slacking: Third year. It’s been intense.

Admittedly, life would be less hectic if I didn’t feel the need to get involved with everything. I’m treasurer for medics’ netball, on the committee for the new health care arts and performance society; also joined the Marrow society, am still part of the church band and first impressions team, volunteer for the local refugee and asylum seekers support group, and now I have a job!

My days wouldn’t be as busy if I did less, but I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t get involved with as much as I could. Secondary care placement starts in just over a month, so my plan is to spend it catching up on anatomy, my notes, and ofcourse, sleep.

I’m still loving this module though- we’ve just finished ENT and are properly on neurology now, which is just so fascinating. The anatomy is a lot though, but hopefully when I start focusing more on it, things will make more sense. Just praying for strength to not get overwhelmed by everything right now.

So, I have a job! I am one of the student callers for my university, and it’s a role that involves me calling alumni to ask for donations. We get matched up to alumni who have done similar degrees to us, so I’ve spoken to a lot of Pharmacists, Occupational Therapists, and Physiotherapists. Most of the doctors I’ve called have been working… insight into what life after graduation will be like?

The job is quite convenient because I only have three shifts a week- two week day ones from 6pm to 9pm, and one weekend one from 12pm to 4pm. It’s only for a month too, and it finishes just before the start of secondary care placement, which fits in nicely with my plan to catch up on work.

And that’s what’s been happening in the life of Tai so far! I’m going home this weekend, so really looking forward to that. Here’s hoping that I get all my work done in time, so that I can just chill at home- #prayforTai

P.S- I have to give a shout out to one of the most dedicated readers of this blog. Leo, if you see this, so much for your promise to stop stalking me…

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The Joys of Working Front of House

A lot of people say to me that I have an ‘easy’ job, and they are wrong. Let me give you the low down on my life as a front of house usher, a.k.a slave of the theatre.

For those of you that are unfamiliar with the theatre, front of house ushers are the lovely folk that show audience members to their seats and sell ice cream during the interval. On the surface this looks like all we do but ahh, our job is so much more than this. Allow me to run through a shift with you, our scenario is set in a sold out evening show.

6pm to 6:15pm- Arrive at the theatre for the start of the shift, an hour before the show starts. Briefing with the duty manager; ushers get assigned to doors in the stalls, circle and upper circle, and whether or not you watch the performance depends on your door. I am on Stalls 1, lucky me(!). Everyone gives me pitying glances, you’ll soon see why.

6:15pm to 6:30pm- Go into the auditorium to put in/take out wheelchair seats. Actors are on stage warming up and having banter. They pretend they can’t see us because in the theatre hierarchy, we ushers are at the bottom.

6:30pm to 7pm- Receive my float of money, get given a handful of programmes to sell, and then head to my door. Have to deal with customers who ask to “just have a look” at a programme, spend about 10 minutes perusing it, then decide not to buy one. Also have to be patient with customers who keep asking me if the house is open yet. It hasn’t been opened in the two minutes it’s been since you last asked me, madam, but I’ll be sure to let you know when it is.

7:15pm- The show should’ve started 15 minutes ago and the house still isn’t open due to some lighting issues being sorted on stage. There are a lot of annoyed customers at my door and my profuse apologies aren’t enough to quell the crowd.

7:30pm- The house opens half an hour late. I ignore the glares in my direction and begin to let audience members in. But there is a slight glitch in row F, as it looks like a bunch of seats have been double booked. After looking at both sets of tickets, it turns out one of them is for a different night. The customers who have to move are fuming and this anger is directed at me because somehow, I am to blame for the fact that they booked their tickets for the previous night’s performance and missed it. I apologise some more. The phrase “I am so sorry for your inconvenience” has lost its meaning to me.

7:45pm- I hear, “Front of house, you can close your doors,” over radio and I’m relieved because this means the show is finally about to begin. I shut my doors and prepare to watch the show for the 6th time. Oh, joy.

8:05pm- A disturbance behind me, latecomers. I haven’t received warning over radio so I don’t know where they’re sat, meaning that I have to frantically bring out my torch to look at their tickets, and hope that their seats are on the end of a row, as I’m pretty sure the seated customers don’t need further reason to be angry with me. Their seats are on the end of row M. Relief.

8:45pm- Interval. I stand dutifully by the usher selling ice creams at my door. Some customers complain about the absence of honey and ginger flavour even though we haven’t had it for nearly a year now. Sigh.

10:00pm- Second half goes by without any incidents and the show finally ends. We have to wait till the auditorium is empty before we can give clearance and start litter pick. As this is a sold out show, it takes a while for people to leave.

10:20pm- Litter pick finally starts. This involves front of house staff hand picking litter and cleaning up the auditorium. Time consuming, as per, but at least it’s not a panto show where used diapers are left on chairs…

As I’m Stalls 1, I can’t leave until the bar closes because I have to help with cashing and locking up. So I take a seat in the cafe and the wait begins.

10:55pm- The bar still has people in it.

11:20pm- They haven’t left yet.

11:45pm- Still here.

12:05am- The bar is finally closed, so cashing up can start.

12:15am- Theatre is all locked up and I can finally go home. End of shift.

Yeah, being Stalls 1 on school nights was definitely not fun, but the fact that I was getting paid for staying behind made it slightly better. Ushers are under appreciated, yes, but I do love my job though, and there are many great things about it like how I get paid weekly, get to watch great shows and films for free, my zero hour contract that means I can choose when I work, free drinks on Press Nights, and occasionally getting to meet some big directors and actors (the nice ones, that is).

The theatre is like my second home because I spend a lot of time and used to perform there as well; it means a lot to me. So anyone who thinks that working Front of House is easy can just shhhh.