Sunday, 30 September 2012

O&G - GP Week

This post is a little late, in fact an entire week late as I've become extremely sleep deprived and tired from my O&G firms...! But yes... my GP placement 2 weeks ago...

There is no set timetable from the medical school, just a simple set of learning objectives, and the GP can make what they want from it. So essentially.. GP sessions are as interesting/dull or long/short as the GP in charge wants to make it... and it's simply a matter of luck if you get what you want.

I'm not going to complain about my O&G GP placement this time though, as it's been pretty good!

Smear Clinic

It's perhaps a little immature and silly to find these things awkward and scary... but I admit... that was exactly how I felt the first time I had to insert a speculum. The awkward part came from being slightly startled by the very energetic, loud and possibly too friendly patient; and the scary part owing to the fear of inflicting any pain whilst carrying out the smear.

< Just look at the thing, you warn the patient it's going to be "uncomfortable", and I'm sure it probably would be just that.. if not worse!

The smear was pretty easy to perform, and particularly as I had the nurse with me to teach me step by step (Nurses tend to be awesome at teaching clinical skills).

We donned our gloves, lubed the sides of the speculum, making sure none got onto the tip, parted the labia, grabbed the speculum and pushed and rotated it, got the cervix in view, locked it open, inserted the brush thing, twisted it round in the same direction for possibly 10 times, and then just removing the whole thing, making sure the cervix doesn't get trapped! (Ouch). Quick few violent swirls of the brush in the solution, labels on and ta-da.. done!

It wasn't actually as bad as I thought it would be.

...... oh yes.. I forgot the mention the bit where the cervix starts bleeding whilst i was twirling the brush around.. the nurse warned me this happens quite often... but it didn't stop me from feeling a little bad. 

Vaccinating children and babys

Thankfully the children and babies were probably too young to remember me and hold a grudge against me for injecting their tiny thighs. We were taught to ask the mother's to hold their babies in a specific way, and then it was all stations go go go, trying to get the vaccinations over and done with as quickly as possible.

Innocently, all the babies would beam their little smiles at you, and as soon as the first needle went in, the crying would start, and it was a matter of trying to get the other vaccination into the other thigh as quickly as possible to get the ordeal over with.

Examining Baby Bumps

I'm the youngest in my family, and I was too young to remember any of my aunts being pregnant, and having not had any friends or relatives fall pregnant in my 2x years of life.. I felt my first baby bumps this week! We had a number of pregnant ladies come in to have their checks, and we were taught how to examine.

I was again a little nervous of hurting the mother, and it was made pretty obvious to me that I was pressing far too gently, when the pregnant lady herself looked up from her supine position, and told me not to worry, and that I could press harder on her! So yep... now i know they're pretty resilient, and I can put a bit of pressure on their baby bumps.


All in all, I can't really complain about my GP week, as I've been quite lucky with the placement with lots of hands on opportunities.. and no longer can i complain about far distances to travel, as a small group of students got sent to Southend for a week of daily GP placements.. despite being attached to a London hospital!

Now for a few weeks of hospital based O&G!

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Starting Obs & Gynae firm

An intro week (which could have probably been compacted into 2 days), and a week of O&G lectures later... i'm now ready to start the firm!

It's a 5 week firm, the first week in the community (GP placement) and 4 weeks at the hospital.

This will be the first time in 3 years that I've had a complete week at the GP practice (from year 1 -3 we would attend on the same day, once every other week), and so instead of just experiencing what the GP would do every Tuesday, I now get a flavour of the entire week. It also means I don't get the disruptions from the hospital part.

Now no post about in-firms will be complete without my travel moans.

Living at home has its perks; it's cheaper, I have the company of my lovely parents, and.. the list goes on. However, as my hospital placement is an IN-FIRM, I've been placed rather far from home, and it means 4 weeks of leaving the house at 07:17am to get to the hospital by 09:00am...

I will be needing that morning cup of coffee (or 2)!

But for now, it's a week of GP from tomorrow! (and a far short travel distance)

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Year 4: Day 1 of "The Hardest Year"

Introductory Week

So it was a pretty mix of excitement and fear today, probably more of the latter.

Excitement - well, it's the penultimate year! 3 years ago, around this time I had left my HCA job, received my Barts welcome pack, and was eagerly awaiting  the start of medical school.

And today? Well, i'm a tad over half way through, and approximately 1 Year and 8 Months from the finishing line (according to the informative lecture this morning, and with fingers crossed for all things going smoothly). I'm not quite sure how the last 3 years manage to pass so quickly, and now there's just the two left.

This sort of leads on to the Fear part. 

It's pretty scary for a few reasons. 
  1. I've been told it's going to be the "HARDEST YEAR!" .. and looking at the timetable.. i believe that.
    There's a lot to cover this year, with less time to cover it all... and I will have to start from scratch, as a lot of these subjects i haven't touched since year 2.
  2. It's the last year to work on the rankings (we're getting a talk on Friday for this), and if the weighting works how i currently think it does.. then this year's exams count for a meaty chunk, and more or less dictate how many points i will be getting for my Foundation Programme application.
  3. It's my last year to get anything impressive down on my CV... and it was drummed in this morning, that leaving it till 5th year is simply too late.
    At this moment in time I honestly don't think I have anything for my CV, and don't really know where to start.
On a less serious note, we had a really funny talk today by a 5th year medic, who pretty much gave us the do's and don't for 4th year. I was also inspired by her to try and predict the modules i'll enjoy this year, and those i won't, and at the end of the year i'll see if i was correct... so here goes:

Obstetrics and Gynaecology - Like
Paediatrics - Like
Neurology - Like 
Psychiatry - Like
Opthalmology - Dislike
Orthopaedics - Dislike
Rheumatology - Dislike
Care of the Elderly - Like *
Dermatology - Dislike
GP - Dislike *

*When asked by doctors or others which speciality i'd like to pursue, I tend to either say care of the elderly, or GP... which is surprising, seeing as i don't think i will enjoy the GP component of 4th year.Only time will tell if these change by the end of the year ^^
However, for now.. it's a 9am lecture tomorrow, and time to sleep.