Thursday, 9 May 2013

Falls Clinic - Why do old people fall?

So the Falls Clinic is meant to be the bread and butter of the module, and as it was put to us by the man in charge, on the very first day.. 

"you can't possibly do a care of the elderly firm without going to a falls clinic!" 

... and so i went
.. as did two other medical students, a physiotherapist, a nurse, the registrar, the consultant, a patient and their relative... 

that's 9 of us all cramped into a tiny clinic room - Cosy! 

I didn't really know what to expect in the clinic, but luckily I did some ECG interpretation revision the night before, and that came in handy! I'm not sure why i didn't really expect it earlier, but every patient that came through the door had their ECGs taken, and the consultant would shove the ECG to us, and ask us what was wrong with it. (i remember dreading ECGs in year 3, but i've noticed that they're not so frightening anymore.. or perhaps i'm not so afraid to be told im wrong)

I soon gathered that there are too many reasons as to why the elderly are likely to fall, and it's a matter of really going through all the possibilities like a detective -- from visual impairment, to parkinsons, arrythmias, or even just their mix of medications. In most cases, it was the latter...

..and this proved another opportunity for the consultant to quiz us. As he took the patient next door to be examined, he would divide the boxes of medication between us and get us each to talk about each medication and their side effects when he got back. Finally he'd ask us what we thought the cause of the fall was for each patient.

These are the sort of clinics i enjoy! Where the consultant get's the students involved and constantly has something for us to work on... and before i knew it, it was over. 

I'm pretty sure i only enjoyed the clinic so much because the consultant was so engaging, but either way, the man was right, experiencing a Falls clinic on a care of the elderly firm is a must! 

1 comment:

Take Up Thy Stethoscope And Walk said...

Sounds very cosy - must have been a tad intimidating for the patient too...or maybe they were just flattered at being the centre of so much attention :P