AC1 – Week 1

Monday

Wow, could this week start off to a more chaotic start? Managed to lock myself out of my room 30 minutes before I had to be at the med school. Thankfully, security did come and bail me out. It was raining so I had my headphones on, hood up and walking to get there as fast as I could. This did mean however, I barged straight past some of the people in my year XD.

We got to the med school and I had to pick up some papers regarding AC1 placement in hospital, learning outcomes book and our clinical skills handbooks. Unfortunately, that pack did also contain our “beloved” anatomy books which I only have to do for two weeks this year!

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Keeping up traditions

I was really happy with my timetable! I got all the clinical learning outcomes I had wanted to get (especially paediatric play specialists) there’s just the small issue of somehow making it back to Cov from Rugby in the space of two hours on one of the days using public transport. I think that might be a tad impossible. We also got assigned our bedside teaching groups of which there is just me and one other person. No pressure there Kim! It does mean virtually one to one teaching but it does mean we have fewer people to hide behind if we don’t know something. I’m trying to google the docs we will have as teachers to try and do some pre-reading but alas, they are so hard to find!

We had the normal intro lectures, you know the Welcome back and such and such. There was a lot of “give yourself a round of applause for getting through year one” and the applause was one of the most genuine from my year, 😀

AC1 is a bit of a transition period for us. Getting used to not just learning how something goes wrong, but what it does and how we fix it. Its like taking that small step up. I am a bit apprehensive, but it should be ok. I am relaxing more as the week ticks on, and only 7 more days till I get my flat !

We also had the introduction of clincial partners, which really cranked the stress o meter inside me up. We have to choose people to basically put up with us on the wards and GP land from January. I will be going to George Elliott come March so I have to pick the people in my stream. Ideally, I would pick my best friend on the course but we have been advised this is a no go. So I am kinda left on my own, and I hate going up to people to ask. I feel like that’s putting them on the spot so they kinda have to say yes. I’m hoping something gets sorted otherwise I am paired with a random person and I think the stress of changing learning styles/enviroment and getting to know someone new will do me no favours.

We had a couple of lectures in the afternoon two being PPD/ Soc Pop based looking at errors in thinking and how we can prevent them. It was kinda scary thinking about it all and for most of the categories I could think of a time where I screwed up due to one of these factors. We also got a bit of Neuroscience thrown in so I was a happy bunny. Our final lecture was Anatomy of lymph drainage with Tunstall and it was really nice to see a familiar lecturer on a day where so much had been changed. However, half way through my brain had given up.

We escaped the med school at 4pm (early finish whoop) and I basically went straight back to my flat and went to do some work but basically argued with Student Finance for half an hour who have mucked up our payment schedules. Well, apparently it was Warwick who have coded it wrong but either way, I kinda need to be paid before the 30th if I am getting to hospital :D.

After that I attempted to get some work done but I could feel the tiredness hitting. Turn out I wasnt alone! So many people in my year hit their beds ridiculously early last night and I was a zombie from about 7:30pm ! Better get this stamina back up again if I am going to survive this year !
Tuesday

Slightly better start ! The sun was shining and I left early enough to have an amble walk up to the med school. On the way I bumped into Joanna and we were laughing about how tired we are and discussing SSC1. Most people start theirs today but mine does not start until the 24th , which is actually good because I still need to finish the book 😀

We had two lectures about hypertension and you can see the shift to clinical practise already. The lecture focused on treatment rather than physiology and we started to learn NICE guidelines which I have been told are needed for the exam this year.

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It was a long morning as we also had a CBL intro where we met our new group. No offence to my old group but I needed the change. We were all pretty stressed during block 5 so I think I associate my old group with that stress! We had to figure out who was born the furthest away from the Med School (Michael had it with Blackpool beating me by only 10 miles !) and we discussed about scribing and chairing for the next session. I jumped at scribing, I really enjoy it and I would rather be focused in CBL this week than having my mind worrying about CP’s. Matt ended up being chair so we are pretty content.

The afternoon consisted of a welcome lecture from our phase 2 lead who was off helping with the second year OSCE’s yesterday and I heard last year he made subtle remarks about using Youtube and Instagram and patient confidentialty essentially hinting at the two bloggers in the year above to watch what they do, thankfully I escaped this ! We then had a talk about assesments and we have a changed paper this year with the new hybrid paper. Instead of having MCQ’s and SAQ’s in different papers we will be given two papers with a mixture which I think I am going to prefer.

After I sat and did some work in the med school settling back into my normal spot of which I was glued to last year. Trouble is , I was getting stressed over the whole CP scenario and ended up leaving in a really bad mood but just walking back to my temporary accomodation helped to calm me down. I had to let Will into my flat as he thought he had left his charger in my room from when I helped him OSCE practise the other day ( I was suprised at how much I still remembered from first year!) (he hadn’t) and then headed to the libary to hopefully do some work but alas, that has not been the case. At least I’ve got one lecture done today ! (oh and this blog written).

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Wednesday

Whole morning of lectures today that seemed to never end. We seem to have come to the end of hypertension and have moved on to arrhythmias. I liked this as ECG’s reared their head again and I seem to be able to read them more efficiently this time despite not having looked at once since June. We also switched lecture theatres as there seems to be a problem with the main MTC one but it was a weird prep for when the newbies get here when we get kicked out of what has been our second home for the past year.
In the afternoon we had our first CBL sessions. I had brought snacks ( Jaffa Cakes always go down well) and I scribed for the first session. It was a weird session because we all come with our own way of doing things so there was a bit of a mish mash but once we see every method we will probably be able to make the session run more smoothly. We got on well and we seem to be a good group, we also had one of our anatomy CEF’s as our facilitator so we were all pretty happy!

In the evening I had what has been the highlight of this week. I love science outreach and I met up with some of the guys who I know from the Birmingham Sci Comm group. Jon was someone who I met at LSF and my mood always improves when I see him because he is as bonkers as I am and he was the guy who when I first watched him 4 years ago, I knew that I wanted to be doing something like what he does for the rest of my life. I also got talking to a couple of people from Warwick main campus and put out the ideas to run my science demo comp. It will be small scale this year but when I grow it , I want every department to run their own and then a grand campus final ! Big dreams I know. It was the best night of the week having a drink with everyone and I needed it to get away from all the stress around clinical partners. We are now three days in and every day my self-esteem is getting a bit of a knock. I’m convinced that I am the only one in my stream not paired up. I’ll do the whole year by myself if I have to though, I don’t care !
I was pretty low all day but having been to the pub and had a laugh and a reminder of what I love in life, I left a lot happier. I now know this needs to carry on this year…for my sanity sake.

I got back about 10 ish and had to physically drag myself to make lunch and have a shower. Sunday can’t get here quick enough.
Thursday

Slightly easier day today, only one lecture!! We had a consultant cardiologist from Warwick taking us through anti-arrhythmic drugs. He was pretty good and make what could have been a very boring lecture interesting! He also had to take a clinical call halfway through which was a weird blast of reality in a 9am lecture!

After we had VLE coursework. It was about gaining consent from patients and I volunteered to be the victim of my group to talk to the SIM patient. I had to gain consent for a breast examination from a woman who had found a lump but her mother had been diagnosed with cancer a couple of years ago. It felt weird because we’ve never been given a structure for consent but I found it comfortable to do despite the nerves and I got into it! We had feedback from the SIM and she said I had done well in being open and friendly , made good eye contact (yay) and she said she felt really comfortable. I was buzzing inside from this though I hate being told I am good at things for some weird reason.

At the end we had about 20 minutes over so we jokingly suggested our facilitator (non clinician) to do one, and he agreed ! He was a brilliant sport and did really well for a barrister! He made an excuse saying he wasn’t a clinician and we replied that neither were we so he cant use that excuse. It was a brilliant way to end the session off and I think we all needed that release from what has been a ridiculously stressful week back.

CP (clinical partner) choosing should have waited until next week as it has been stressing most people. Everyone who I know and I work well with has been chosen by someone else and when I eventually came round to asking Matt , he had been taken three times over. I am really worried and at this stage , I could quite easily just ask the med school if I actually have to have a clinical partner because to be frank, it would be a lot easier. I don’t often critique Warwick because I think they are brilliant but I am really not happy about how the CP’s have been handled. I’m just hoping something happens over the next two days.

We also got some swanky new badges. At two of our hospital trusts, Lanyards are banned so it is hard to spot the medical students so now we have badges just to let everyone know that we really have no idea what we are doing ,:). I was hoping it would have our year on them but they do not, might invest in some 2 stickers 😀

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We had the afternoon off to fill out the Anatomy books ( the main source of headaches and late Thursday nights in first year) and I managed to also catch up on some lectures. I was re-united with my study husband Sam which was really nice as I felt like some things were still the same and I found some grounding. I also managed to bump into a fourth year and we were chatting about how to handle block 2 and medic Revue. I can’t wait to do it again and to my lovely medic kids – You will be doing this, no excuses 😉

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I am now racing off to climbing, I think I need it after this week !!

Friday

Finally…we have got to the end. We only had to be in for 1 hour and a half today but that still meant an hour bus ride to the hospital. We had our penultimate session with the plastinates in the STC but it felt a bit weird being there because we were learning lymph. You can’t see lymph nodes on the plastinates very well. Oh, well.
We got out early and Stuart gave me a lift back (yay – thank you!), I ended up going home just to change and then spent the afternoon working and catching up on admin. We have to book to go onto the wards at UHCW in AC1 and someone grabbed the morning neurosurgery ward slot (please give it to me whoever you are!). I went climbing in the evening to try and get rid of some of the stress building up in me however, it didn’t work. I came back to the flat and my key card had stopped working and that was it.

I just sat on the cold ground just wishing for my bed (a few tears may have been shed).This week has been so hard, I really am hoping next week is better, it’s not even the academics that have stressed me out. However, I move on Tuesday into my permanent accommodation, hopefully, this CP business will be sorted and I can finally focus on what I love. The medicine.

I’m sorry this hasn’t been a happy post. I could have sugar-coated it and pretended everything was hunky-dory. That is not why I started this blog though and I am determined to keep it real, and if a stress-filled, self-esteem hitting week is what happened. Then that is what I shall write.

See ya next week

Abbie

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