Thursday, 29 January 2009

U... and other acronyms

for.. U/cath (urinary catheter), and the stupid mistake.

When i first started working as a HCA, one of the hard things i felt was to understand what all the acronyms on the handover sheet stood for, and what it meant i had to do for each individual patient. Some are pretty obvious, such as U/cath - meaning they have a urinary catheter (or a spc - supra or sub pubic catheter), and it was just protocol for me to go empty it twice a shift before they eat or sleep, or if it is getting full at other times during the day. Without having to sound too corny, but on my night shift yesterday i learnt how important communication between healthcare staff is - as a lack of communication meant i poured away 6 hours of urine for a patient as normal at midnight, before the nurse exclaimed that we were supposed to collect 24 hours worth and send it off to biochemistry... i was told this after having poured and flushed the urine away, and had the cup being disinfected >.< Thankfully the patient was very understanding, though he did mention being dissapointed, and it made me feel pretty guilty.

Other acronyms i've come across so far at work are NIDDM and IDDM (non/insulin dependent diabetes mellitus) - meaning i have to take their blood glucose before their meals, or hourly if they are on a sliding scale. NBM for nill by mouth, often accompanied by a time on the handover, and recently i learnt the meaning of TWOC (trial without catheter) - when i went to empty a catheter and embaressingly couldn't locate it.

Not an acronym, but just a stupid spelling mistake i keep spotting on the handovers - cellulite. When i read the handover, i was surprised it mentioned patients had cellulite.. on the first few weeks i never really understood why it was important to have it pointed out...and that it could be painful (?) before i eventually asked a staff nurse, and then understood they meant cellulitis ~.~

Finally U is also for unsucesful, alas i could not escape my curse of january rejections. As the month is about to draw to a close, i thought i might escape january rejections this ucas round, but nope, UCL kept the tradition by rejecting me today.. but... although not happy about it, im not to bothered either, as i'm just so relieved to have an offer, and best of all.. i get to stay in london ^^ !


MS said...

Hey, will you take Barts 5 year over Warwick 4 year? An extra year + an extra £12,000 in tuition to stay in London? Difficult choice!

(Although I'm the same, I really want to stay in London)

Tofu said...

we might just be coursemates on the BL 5 year (that is if u choose the 5 year over the 4 - hard choice again - which would you choose?!)

hmm i think in terms of money.. its not going to be much difference, as if i lived in london i can just stay at home (be a bum) and just have to work off the fees ~ 12k, and if i was to live out at warwick for 4 years and pay for 1 year of fees, it would probably work out the same..the only real agony point do it in 4 years or to do it in 5.... and yep.. london is a big draw for me too!

BUT - i might not even have to worry about this, as im not too sure how warwick interview will go, the group task just sounds odd!

Also stupid as i know it sounds, if it costs about the same i think i might prefer the 5 year to the 4, its a long career, i might aswell enjoy my course and longer(ish) holidays through the early stages of it ^^

Sengcheek said...

Just so you know
supra pubic - above the pubic bone
sub pubic - below it

The acronym SPC is rather dangerous unless you know which one you are referring too!

Bare in mind also that on the Warwick course, the NHS will pay for most of your transport in your clinical years + a bursary.

Tofu said...

ah, don't worry seng, i never get to use any of them, as i for my part of the job it just involves me emptying the catheters, or to approach the patient, with my plastic jugs and all, and then to be told they want to do it themselves ^^ i know theres a difference, but only after a nurse explained what spc stood for, i would have never been able to guess that acronym.

mm u are making the 4 year sound quite good, but there is no point of me thinking too much into it at this point, as i don't even know how the warwick interview will go yet.. it could be a rejection in which case i won't have to think about it ^^