Monday, 30 March 2009

night shift boredom

Just finished my 5 consecutive days of night shifts (effectively 62.5 hours!!), and i don't think i intend on signing up for anymore than 4 night shifts again in a long while!

They are really quite tiring, but not in the way you would expect a day shift to be. Most of the patients are asleep during the night, and once i complete my list of tasks, i don't have much else to do and have no patients to chat to - instead i clean and stock up some equipment, and then just sit at the nursing station watching the patients sleep, whilst resisting my own desire to join them in snooze land... well until a patient calls for attention anyways.

No news from kcl waiting list nor from warwick selection centre yet, but both have told me to wait until mid-april, so i think i'll just try and forget it until then, and keep my mind on more important things like... holiday! ^^

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Warwick Selection Centre

The rumours were true... the chocolate muffins, doughnuts, and plenty of tea and coffee were there to greet us in the common room... and that i really couldn't have prepared for the selection centre. (Sadly i never got to try any of the sweet treats in the morning, and by the time we went back for a short break, they had all dissapeared >.<)

The selection centre was actually quite unusual, and some parts (group excercise) were actually really fun (!!) - the video-based interview was very similar to the Bart's interview i had in 2007 (i got rejected that time).. and the written task was a complete fail for me (ran out of time, and basically didn't answer the questions well). So all in all, i doubt i will be at warwick next year, as the selection centre didn't really go too well for me... thankfully we've been told we will only have to wait till mid-april to hear back.. so not too long left!

Sunday, 22 March 2009

time not well spent

The ward sister gave me a good few days off to allow me to prep for the warwick interview, but since my shift on wednesday i've fitted in a game of badminton, iceskating, went out for dinner twice, watched a film ( The Unborn - it was RUBBISH!) and did very little in the form of interview prep (apart from having chosen what i'm going to wear).

Hopefully i'll get some prep done today, before i take the coach up to leamington spa tomorrow morning, but to be really honest i have no idea how i can prepare for the selection centre - as its still quite a mystery to me as to what actually happens (i've read the forums - theres a group task, an interview, and something about nice chocolate muffins). What i do know.. is my friend has a lot of activities planned for after the interview (yay), which is then sadly followed by 5 consecutive night shifts starting on the wednesday night i return to london.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Other gappers

I met another gap year A100 applicant lately (rather randomly on the lift), i can't remember the exact name of his position, but he gets to pick up patients from the wards and take them to the theatre where he gets to observe the surgical procedures, and then deliver the patients to itu, and then to wherever they need to go after that. It sounds like a rather interesting job, but the grass is always greener on the other side. When discussing our different roles, he told me he wished he had the opportunity to work on a ward - i also wished i had the opportunity to observe surgical procedures; we settled on the idea that we'll hopefully get to see these things next year.

The HCA girl i started with has also left the job now, and will soon be off on her 3 months of travels. Initially time went by really slowly, but now time seems to have gone by too quickly, and i will soon be off on my travels too at the beginning of April..... sadly only for 2 weeks, before i have to come back to the working life - its a short break, and hopefully will be worth the annual leave i had to take.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Friendly/Scary FY2

Had a very quiet shift today (weekend shifts tend to be) - generally i was just making several trips to pharmacy, did a lot of obs, and i had a really interesting (but some-what scary) conversation with a FY2.

The FY2 himself wasn't scary, in fact hes really friendly, helpful, and ever since we found out we had both done an undergrad in biochemistry at kcl before applying to med as a grad (what a coincidence!), hes been happy to find out how im finding the job and to teach me random things (today he was explaining the ecg belonging to a patient on the ward - though to be honest i didn't really understand that much of it - too many new technical terms). What was quite scary however, was the conversation we had today where he told me about how he thinks the courses are getting easier, and medical students are now less prepared for their foundation years than "back in his days" - and he feels he doesn't know as much as his peers when they were SHOs. Maybe i am just a bit pessimistic, but this is definately something i am worried about - not that i don't think the teaching will be good enough when i eventually start, just that i worry about not knowing enough.

Im sure i have a lot of time to worry about this in the years to come and i should just enjoy what i have left of my gap year. Afterall i am now into my 6th month as a HCA (feels like its gone very quickly!), and if following my previous plans, this would be by last month before fitting in some travel. However, with the current economic crisis, i think i'm going to work for a few more months, possibly till June/July before setting off somewhere for a few weeks. Although its less travelling time, I think the little extra cash will be helpful next year (!!)