Monday, 12 December 2011

MET3B End of Firm + ICA exams

Last week was incredibly slow at the hospital.

All the other medical students had already moved back to London, and it was just the 4 of us doing Met3b... and to be honest, at this point i was pretty burnt out from all the late night revision for the exam looming around the corner.

I tried to keep myself busy during the day, and made lots of visits to the EAU. I did the usual thing, and introduced myself to the sister, and asked if i could help them take some bloods and put in a few cannulas... the sister was VERY enthusiastic... but her enthusiasm was more towards telling me to sit in the staff room and eat cake (literally - carrot cake).

From experience, bugging the HCAs are the best way forward...they know all these nifty tricks!! I stayed a few hours every day, took bloods, clerked a few patients and managed to bug a respiratory registrar to let me do my first ABG.

Doing my first ABG - i was instructed to find the pulse with the tips of my index and middle finger, to then lift the index finger and insert the needle in its place. It sounds simple..but the tricky bit here.. was not being able to feel or see the vessel (compared to venepuncture). I was pretty lucky and managed to get the needle in on the first attempt, and instantly got the pulsatile flashback (probably the coolest thing i saw that week)!!!!

BUT i did feel incredibly guilty during the procedure, as the patient was moaning quite a bit and telling me how painful it was whilst the blood was being drawn out. However, we took the sample to the blood gas machine.. and whilst i can be honest here and say i had no idea what i was looking for on the print out.. the registrar said the patient was good to go home.. excellent!

Whilst it was fun, I couldn't wait for the end of the week to come, and when it did.. i got my logbook signed off and swiftly moved back to London for the BIG CRAM!!


I was literally freaking out last weekend, trying to cram every bit of information i could get out of each lecture, forgetting it the next morning and trying to learn it again in the evening.... and my room is currently a dump.

In hindsight (having sat the exam this morning)... i could have probably relaxed a bit.... but more importantly i could have revised for it more efficiently!! i didn't quite believe the transition of the ICA papers from pre-clinical to clinical years... it's VERY DIFFERENT!

We won't hear the results till after we come back in the new year... so for now.. it's one more week of CSP lectures... and then freedom!


Anonymous said...

Hey, great blog. Really enjoy reading your posts, keep it up!

This might be a bit of a stupidly obvious question but how are the questions different in clinical? Is it in terms of style or is it that they focus more on diagnosis and management rather than pathology?

Sorry if it sounds a bit silly :)

Tofu said...

No no it's not a stupid question at all!

i was constantly bugging a 4th year to explain the exams to me prior to sitting my first clinical year ICA.. and as hard as he tried to explain it to me.. i just didn't quite imagine it to be the way it was.

Its definitely a lot more clinical based, with diagnosis and management as the main theme.. (they gave us a scenario for each question, and it was a matter of choosing the most likely diagnosis) mixed in with a few factual questions from CSP/public health.

This is quite a big change from year 1+2 where the majority of the questions were pathology based.

I hope that sort of helps ^^ are you a barts student? if so.. if u still have questions about year 3 exam style let me know, i can update you once i sit one more ica ^^