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Saturday, April 02, 2005

Spring is here!

What with the daylight-saving and all, the weather is changing, all for the better. The sun is coming out. Birds are chirping (and getting noisy again). Dafodils are starting to spring out in shades of bright yellow. The huge tree outside my window has tiny pretty white flowers blooming on its branches.

Initially, the clocks went back on Easter Sunday.

I went back down to Chichester on Bank Holiday Monday. My team was on-take on Monday, but yeah, they didn't expect me there, so when I showed up, they were pleasantly surprised. Maybe they thought I was hardworking. Then again, perhaps they think I'm simply mad (since when does a student go to work on a public holiday, rite? This person is either plain stupid, or simply mad.). I think it was worth it though. I got to clerk in my first-ever dysphasic patient, my first patient of the evening. I was the first line of call (dang it. I was panicking. How now? They don't teach us this in medical school!). He was this 81 year old gentlemen who looked disorientated, ambulance crew had a history from the neighbour, of arm weakness and slurred speech. it was ?CVA - ?TACS, ?alcohol intoxication (coz he smelt of ETOH as well). Asked him a couple of questions, and he couldn't answer, didn't even know if he could understand, coz he couldn't respond to my instructions.

Take was indeed productive. More so when I met a Singaporean locum SHO (in Chichester?!), who graduated from Melbourne, went back to work in SG as a HO (and hated it), came to UK to work (and escape from NS), and incidentally is taking his membership exams and is going to US to work, having passed his USMLEs.

Post-take the next morning was lovely. With 25+ patients waiting to be seen at 7am in the morning. Wowee! Nevertheless, it went on, somewhat rushedly, albeit smoothly but surely. Wednesday and Thursday was the usual of more jobs. Reg teaching on Thursday afternoon. Realised that my assumptions were wrong. My examination skills goes to pieces when I'm being watched. My presentation is crap, not confident enough, too disjointed. My presentation for X-rays and ECGs are fine. Just the examinations. Not a good thing. More practice needed.

Friday, special session with another reg for teaching, and that one wasn't too bad. I managed to diagnose AR, MR and TR in a patient (the patient was due for a triple-valve replacement). The reg was duly impressed, coz apparently TR is difficult for a medical student. Yay me. =)

Medicine Shadows are over!

I have gotten signed off. One week earlier than scheduled. But that is justifiable. You see... I went in during Easter, plus I'm having the last 2 days off for my GP OSCE which I haven't taken yet.

Now... not that I'm happy that it is over. I am. Really. But in a good way. I've thoroughly enjoyed it. Jobs and ward rounds and take and all. The people are all so friendly, so different from London. The team, esp the consultant. =) Ward rounds - although there's lots more jobs to be done, and not much teaching, I get to see the patients everyday, know about their progress, and when ordering their investigations, I learn the justification for it. I got to do the usual stuff - take bloods (doesn't seem to hurt much for the patient. Yay!), cannulation, arterial blood gases (was crap, still am, but improving!), did a pleritic tap (under supervision of course), almost did a CVP line (but was too petrified that i might just hit something and the patient will exsanguinate before my very eyes), and so backed out of that a bit.

Have learnt to write up concisely in notes (consultant commented that I had very good clerkings during post-take. Yippee), and present cases succinctly. Practice makes perfect. Haven't done enough. But managed it enough to present to my consultant for my long case assessment. Got signed off with an excellence. =D Am glad to help out my team in lessening their work.

Have been told that I'm too committed, too dedicated to work. People in the house (all the George's people doing shadows live in 1 house) all get to come back in the evenings. However, every time I step into the house, I'm the last one in. At 7+-8pm. The rest think I'm mad. The rest think I'm working too hard. They think i'm taking shadows too seriously, when I should be studying for finals instead. They also think I should be paid, esp since I had a week of just me and the consultant, because the whole team was either off sick or on leave, and I was covering my main ward, the stroke unit and my outliers all around the hospital. That was a good experience though. And the best thing? I finished the jobs that needed to be done sooner than when the whole team is around! This makes the idiom 'too many cooks spoil the broth' ring true...

Regarding my earlier post about people stopping me in corridors, that hasn't stopped. More so, in the wards, where we have an influx of old ladies, while I'm taking their blood, asking me this...

'You're really pretty. I hope you don't mind me being rude, but where are you from?'
'You've got gorgeous hair. Are you mixed?'
'Do you have a boyfriend? My grandson would be interested in meeting someone pretty like you. Would you like to meet him?'

....at which point, I promptly stabbed the needle into their vein and sucked them dry of blood. Heh.

And to think, that post made Lit laugh. Hope this makes you giggle even more, Lit. Ha ha.

My US trip might be off after all. Dang it.