Phase 2 has started! And I was kind of dreading it (not least because of the stethoscope-under-headscarf conundrum, which has by the way turned out fine), but it has so far been waaay better than I expected! It definitely beats 2 and a half years of lectures. SO, I am at a hospital in an undisclosed location, but which happens to be the middle of Nowhere, and I have been here several weeks now, and have got to do a hell of a lot of waiting/chasing consultants around/waiting... but also a few VERY COOL THINGS! And so I shall concentrate on these.
Cool Things What I Have Done/Seen in the Hospital
- Taking blood from NOT ONE, BUT TWO REAL PATIENTS. We're supposed to be able to take blood with our eyes closed (well...not quite) by the end of this year, but since we only trained on plastic arms in October, I was very hesitant to actually try on a real patient. My partner chucked me in at the deep end this week by saying 'HUMAIRA WILL DO IT' when a doctor mentioned that bloods were needed for a patient. Ouch. The first was very gracious when I missed the vein first time (perhaps because I did not disclose that he was the first Live Patient I had to steal blood from), and let me try the other arm, which thank God, I got. The second patient, whose vein I got first time, was incredibly nice about it, and whilst I had an actual needle in his arm said 'Your parents must be very proud of you. They should be, you're doing a great job.' WHILST BEING IMPALED WITH A NEEDLE. I took this as a compliment of double value. He also kept thanking me for taking his blood so well. Totally overinflated my ego. I am now convinced I am the KING OF TAKING BLOOD. (I joke, my inferiority complex remains as strong as ever).
- I got to shock a patient! HOW AWESOME. Now is probably the time to reveal it wasn't all that impressive a deal, since all I did was shout 'clear' and press a button. And it wasn't one of those cardiac arrest saving-a-life scenarios- this was a planned procedure to try to get the patients heart back into rhythm. But still. It works better if all you know is that I got to shock a patient. Just go with the awesome images of me rushing in with those huge black paddles (which incidentally aren't used anymore...the stickers are so unimpressive!) and shouting 'DON'T YOU DIE ON ME TODAY' whilst repeatedly shocking some ridiculously-good-looking young patient with a dramatic backstory back to life.
- Our consultant threw me in at the deep end in a clinic by giving me a patient file and saying 'There's a room, see this patient in there, take a history and do an examination and then report your findings to me.' I actually died at this point, since I've taken loads of histories from patients but never been the first person to see them, and I've never had to report my findings and a preliminary diagnosis back to a doctor @_@ A very big deal. But I felt like a total doctor, seeing My Own Patient in a clinic. Also, I thought I could hear a specific kind of heart murmur, but his previous notes said it was a different kind.. But when I reported back to my consultant, turned out I was right! AWESOME. I may or may not have dont a silent Victory Fist in the Air right there in the clinic, before realising that the patient was sat opposite me and unamused at my glorifying in his diagnosis, after which I quickly subdued my enthusiasm.
- We had a patient who had over TWO litres of fluid in his lung, and I got to help drain it! This was totally amazing, because it has an instantaneous beneficial effect on the patient, who can breathe better as you are draining. So totally got to stand there with a GINORMOUS syringe and just pull out massive amounts of yellowy fluid which was nasty and yet awesome. (I'm sure this enthusiasm will be killed by next year but I'm just revelling in it for the moment :D)
- I saw bronchoscopies, where you put a camera down into peoples' lungs. Not particularly cool but very interesting, as they let you find out the source if someone is coughing up blood, or if someone has a suspected cancer- we did see one or two tumours, which was weird. To learn so much about them and the huge effect cancer has on people, and then to just see this small, unremarkable lump show up on camera in someone's airway. To think that's what all the fuss is about, all these massive charities and fun runs and Macmillan nurses and support services and family breakdown and chemotherapy. Just... a very strange sensation.
- I have seen waaaay too many lung cancer patients in these last few weeks. Some terminal, which was horrible, and some young and newly diagnosed, which in a way was worse. All of them had a smoking history. DO NOT SMOKE. Just not worth it.
- I see a lot of sad, lonely old people who come in from care homes and don't get visitors :(
- There are some doctors who are absolutely amazing with patients, and who will comfort them and make them feel better even if they can't do much for them, and they tend to be young, which is good to know because these are the consultants of the future. There are others who are... a little robotic, but they have minds like computers so I'm hoping they're the future of research.. lol.
- I watched the Hunger Games! AWESOME. Very fast paced and tense and creative and pretty much true to the book. And I love Jennifer Lawrence in the lead role. I am willing to overlook the sliiight overtones of TeamEdward/TeamJacob going on, which might get played up in the next film which would disappoint me. But the whole satire/reality tv/social commentary thing still has me hooked :D Also, Josh Hutcherson is all grown up since Bridge to Terabithia! And has a very square jaw... which is strange.
- Apparently I am supposed to upload a picture of a pier...? But since Rosie and Emad seem to have the monopoly on the most awesome piers, I decided to have a different picture. Besides, at the moment, my life feels more a split between this:
- An awesome weekend was had with the Wolves crew, including catching up with Aunty Em and being given an AWESOME purple eyeliner/nail polish/eyeshadow, Hasan being unusually well mannered and stressed by mess, Baby Bear looking like a small Harry Potter with his baby glasses, and Umar being so chubby he has actual folds :D Cellulite is clearly the next step.
- Took this picture of my dad and brothers at the park a few weeks ago, and I totally love it, mainly becase my dad (on the right) is doing a distinct Winnie the Pooh hands-behind-back walk, and because both my brothers are now taller than him :) How lovely.
So I have probably rambled on enough now, and shall go and catch up on other people's blogs! Who know when I shall next blog, so I shall just leave you with an 'In a while, crocodiles'!