AC1 – Week 7

Monday

Whoop whoop. LIE IN ! First time in weeks that I haven’t had to be up before 6am. It felt AMAZING and I woke up ready for the day instead of practically falling out of my nice cosy bed. I had airway teaching at 10:45 so spent my time slowly getting ready and actually catching up with what is happening in the outside world. It’s easy to forget the world still carries on outside of Medicine.

I arrived at my airway teaching and it was actually fun. We were taught the basic principles of airway management so we were taught head tilt, jaw thrust as the non-equipment techniques. Then we were introduced to the maze of tubes and suctioning things in front of us. We first used some tongs known as Magill forceps which are angled allowing for removal of objects. We successfully removed Halloween sweets using these (and got to eat them for our efforts).

We then went on to use the more technical items that you see in medical dramas learning how to measure and insert them. The only thing we didn’t get to use was the tracheal tube which we get trained to use in phase three. I am actually really excited for that session now . I really enjoyed this session, clinical skills have the potential to be dragged out sessions but the higher level learning and new skills is making these sessions the highlight of my week.

I also decided to get my flu jab done that day. This meant walking to the other end of the hospital but at least I now have it done !

After Airway management we had resus training. This was basic so it was what to do if we found someone without a pulse around the hospital. We got to practise using a fake AED on a dummy which had a monitor attached which tells you how good your CPR is. CPR is most effective when you are at the right depth, rate and allow the chest to fully recoil after each compression. The machine speaks to you if your compressions are not good enough and has a metronome to check you are going at the right rate. There’s something odd about being praised by a machine ….

Image result for CPR depth monitor

When we went to do it , I forgot to check if the patient was actually breathing , turns out this is important – who knew ? (DISCLAIMER – I KNOW THIS IS IMPORTANT).

Finally, the moment I had been waiting for. SCRUB TRAINING. I was so excited, well, what do you expect from me. We did the process from start to finish learning how to wash our hands with the sponges and iodine and then moving onto scrubbing. The gloves were a bit fiddly to get on as you can’t use your hands outside the sleeves so we were all fiddling around trying to get them on, safe to say I need more practise.

In the evening we had revue rehearsal, I am now off script which is handy and then just collapsed on my bed. Monday Completed.

My friend Tash had also surprised me with some little wooden bumblebees from her paediatric play session which vastly improved my day:

Tuesday

Second group for CBL today ! Mind you, ended up going in early because I needed to do some SSC1 work for our mini bazaar later. CBL was good as we were finishing up from the week before meaning I only had to be chair for 2 more hours, however, this also meant we had 15 minutes for lunch before the next lecture. This meant I was happily munching away on my pasta during a lecture on airway management with some gruesome images. Guess I’m fully immune to grossness now.

We finally got to SSC1 session and I got to speak about curious incident. I looked at how the book changes the perception of “normality” by telling the tale from Christopher’s eyes. I also looked at the last scene of the play and how they portray that even though people with disabilities can technically do anything, we are still in the position that this is not possible. We still see disability as an inconvenience and with the lack of adaptations, people really can’t do anything:

In the evening we had a huge revue rehearsal doing the big whole cast scenes. It was fun to get back to acting etc but it was a long evening. I was pretty grateful to get back home and just collapse in my bed.

Wednesday

Decided that I was too tired for the 9am but thankfully it had been cancelled anyway (whoop). I made it in for 10am when we had some safeguarding workshops. Both me and Matt had failed to actually do the online courses before they were due so we quickly completed them before the session. We had Cornelia who was one of our Anatomy tutors last year so it was strange to not see her in an anatomy setting. We just have to remember that people have lives outside the STC .

I really enjoyed talking about this. It’s a shame that we have to talk about it, no-one should ever have to be put through it but we do live in a world where safeguarding is a valued framework so it’s important to learn.

We then had a lecture about glucose regulation but I could barely hear the lecturer so I made my own notes off of websites in the back. At least I was productive ! Wednesday afternoon brought a diabeties workshop, with a twist. We were locked out of the room that we were meant to be using so we ended up having a al fresco lecture sitting on the floor in a werid circle, filling out the worksheet. Locked rooms shant ever stop us.

We also had new CBL case. It was diabetes this week and one of our first paediatric cases. It was also one of the first cases where we could not have guessed the diagnosis from the opening page so it was nice to debate and delve into the case.

I took a 40-minute nap before rehearsals as I was in a lot of pain (seems to be the common thing at the moment). Then came the moment of truth. We had a three hour dance rehearsal and I’ve not danced since I was 14 when I gave it all up for school. Despite me having two left feet I managed to get through it and I really enjoyed the evening ! I can’t wait for it all to be tied together – but towards the last ten minutes my abdomen was in agony so I decided to just walk through the last ten minutes.

It was 9 by the time we finished so I was pretty relieved to dive back into bed safe in the knowledge that our 9am had been cancelled the next morning.

Thursday

We started with a lecture on concordance and then onto what to do when a minor refuses consent. I really did enjoy this as ethics seems to be becoming a love of mine here so learning about the ethics behind paediatrics was a brilliant session. We also had a debate about real paediatric cases (obviously changed for patient confidentiality) and it was interesting to see how the minds of my year works. I love interactive sessions like this as you can almost imagine yourself in these situations when you qualify. GOSH have actually got a ethics event coming up which I wished I could go to but I can’t get the time off or afford the train as I am going down the next week for their conference.

We also had some group work to do in the afternoon but shortly before I had managed to scald my hand on the boiling water tap filling up a water bottle to try and ease the abdominal pain. So this session turned into a mini first aid session. I wanted to go climbing but I ended up just coming home and doing some light work. This pain has just completely wiped me out these past couple of weeks.

Friday

Day off ! Spent the day getting ready for Family Meal ! It’s a tradition here but I have been panicking about cooking as I am really not known for my cooking skills. I ended up just going with a simple rice and curry dish (which I managed to not muck up). It was a lovely evening and it was really nice to catch up with my medic kids. It’s nice to see how chilled out their year are compared to us. They actually seem to be enjoying their degree and having a decent work life balance. The kidneys seem to be causing problems again and I do feel sorry for them not having Dr Roebuck teach them. We were gutted when Jamie left, he is the top lecturer here and it does feel weird knowing he isn’t here. All the lecturers are brilliant , but Jamie just had that extra something. Me and Kat decided that we should run an extra session about kidneys as we actually quite enjoy them, so watch out for that! We ended up finishing early though as we were all pretty shattered and they had anatomy day the next day.

Saturday

Weekend post ! I actually did something on Saturday ! My friend Matt from UCLan was around in Coventry so we decided to meet up. Rosie my bestie was also around so we had a mini reunion. Rosie, Matt and I lived together in second and final year. I miss it so so much and it was nice to see that Matt had not changed at all with his card tricks. It was so nice to catch up and see everyone. It can be hard here, seeing everyone lead amazing lives and with half of my group still together it can be very isolating.

I ended up in a bit of a slump this evening. All I wanted to do was go home, there’s a lot of worrying me at the moment and for someone who loves this degree, the fact that I keep wanting to drop out is scaring me. So in the middle of this slump I receive a random message from one of my other friends (sally) and within a good 10 minutes I was crying with laughter on the floor. It wasn’t even about anything funny in particular but I just appreciated that bit of a break from the cloud that was hanging over my head.

Med school can be incredibly isolating and hard. It can make you feel on top of the world one second, and the bottom of the heap the next. I do try to keep these things positive, but there are weeks when I just want to write, yup this week happened, and leave it at that. However, part of the anxiety I am feeling is due to the unknown, and the point of this blog was to tackle the unknown for others. I am struggling with my mental health, I am trying to fight back against it but not even wanting to do work is completely against what I normally am like. I know it’s ok to feel this way though. That’s important to recognize. Instagram is filled with accounts showing off pretty notes, insane working schedules and super star medics. It’s so important to keep in mind though that these accounts are only showing part of their life. I try and show everything, the ups and (most of) the downs. I hope that is good – and I hope that somewhere, this taking away of the unknown, is helping someone get through the uncertainty of this insane medical world I love so much.

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