Second to last week of the block ! And a bit of a mix to kick the day off. We have community week this week, so instead of dragging myself to UHCW, I dragged myself to a GP nearby. It was also an odd morning as it was the first time driving to placement. It was slightly terrifying but I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing it felt. I arrived at 9:15am (aaah lie in!) and we got briefed about what was going to happen. In second year our community week looks at palliative care patients and how end of life care is delivered.
We played a quick game of school nurses, practise nurse, district nurse or health visitor and our team came second missing out on a bag of haribos. We went to a hospice in the afternoon. I already knew what to expect with my nan having passed away in a lovely hospice where I live but I was intrigued about if it was the same everywhere. It was weird walking in. It felt the same but part of me twinged a bit. I don’t think I’ve got over my nan going. I was in the middle of dissertation hand in, finals revision and it all happened quickly. I had a call on the Friday asking if I wanted to come home because it was soon. I remember being stood in the middle of the street feeling like I’d ran into a brick wall. My nan was a second mum to me. I decided to stay at uni. We wasn’t sure when she was going to go, and with everything going on. We agreed it was better for me to stay at uni.
After her funeral I had to head back to Preston to do my viva for my dissertation, work for the summer and then move out. Almost the week after, I started a summer job where I was working 8-6pm some days for the entire of August and half of July and then before I knew it, I was starting Med School. It’s weird, I can’t explain it.
Anyway, back to the actual point. We were given a tour of the hospice by one of the most energetic doctors I have ever seen but it was nice to sit down and learn about palliative care and how there is no curing in hospices. Only pain management, and keeping the patients comfortable.
We then had to go and interview a patient, which I was slightly dreading. I was scared that I was going to say something stupid or put my foot in it. However, the family were lovely and I was so grateful for them taking the time to chat to us and tell us about their hospice experience. We came out feeling humbled and amazed that places like this can exist. However, most of them rely on charitable donations to run, so it’s possible that these places could one day go leaving thousands to die in depersonalized hospital beds.
Tuesday morning was a bit of an admin morning which I nearly didn’t get to see. I arrived and asked security to let me through but I was grilled about why I was there, who I was to see and who I was (despite the orange cone lanyard hanging down off of me). Thankfully, the receptionist came in and saved the day.
We presented our mini health needs assessment finally getting that box ticked off for this year and then discussed the patients we saw yesterday. After lunch, we went to a baby clinic seeing the opposite end of life to what we had already seen. It was completely different to what I was expecting but we got to see baby checks and at the end I was happy as I got to play with a small toddler for 10 minutes. I swear to god I am a child.
We drove home and to my horror ended up on the infamous Coventry ring road. I don’t know who designed it but an exit and joining slip road as one?!? I was screaming inside but somehow made it back to campus alive.
Wednesday is normally GP day but our GP was on annual leave so we had it as a day off. Day off was in commas as I had a tonne of admin to do including getting my black box fitted, booking rooms in the med school for the JASME conference in November, picking up prescriptions and having to sort out my home comforts scheme including washing up after people who’ve used mugs and sorting out the blankets chucked everywhere. I could go off on a rant but I wont.
I also managed to get a gold dust GP appointment. My hip has been painful these past months and now it’s affecting me during the day so I need it check out. We think it’s just tendonopathy but I am having an X-ray to check it’s not anything more than physio can sort out.
I also got semi-dragged to the med school by one of my friends to attend a wilderness talk. I’m not interested in wilderness medicine but it was their dad giving the talk so I decided to hobble up there. IT was actually a really good talk and I became engrossed with all the travelling doctor stories to Papua New Guinea, Mount Kilimanjaro and Syria. The tribe in Pappua New Guinea still used basic archery to hunt and use in tribe wars but the detailing on the arrows was incredible. We even got introduced to the blood stick which had been removed from someone’s abdomen and still had the blood on. Nice.
Another half day off as we had Psych workshops in the afternoon. I wasn’t sure what to expect from these as we had already had our psych week and it was less than ideal. However, they were actually really useful. It was 5 scenarios with SIM actors covering different psych conditions such as self-harm, low mood and MMSE exam. However, just my luck I get alcohol abuse and the most intense SIM I have ever met. He actually apologised to me after because he had to be so mean !
Thoroughly exhausted, I trudged the 20 minutes back to my car but then did a diversion to ASDA to pick up a blanket covered in bumblebees I had been craving for weeks. I was a very happy bee that evening.
Back to community for a final day. We were sent out with the District nurses and it has to be the most eye-opening experience of my life. We were mainly doing wound dressing but that wasn’t the part that gave me the biggest reality check and learning experience. It was seeing the conditions some of our patients live in. It’s so easy to forget that patients have lives outside of the hospital and what world we are sending them back to once we discharge them.
I got back to the clinic and was still struggling to take in what I had seen that morning. I was chatting with the nurses about what I had seen and they were telling me stories of some of the patients they had seen. I was also surprised by how many patients smoke in their own homes despite all the advice they probably had been given. However, we are not there to judge, I just couldn’t help but wonder how much of their environment was having an effect on their health.
It was a quick afternoon. Just more tick boxing and showing that we had done the e-learning we were supposed to do. Everyone kept going on about 5 certificates. I was so confused, I had one overall one but it looked correct. Turns out, the 15 modules I had worked my way through on one evening, could have been only 5 and that I had spent four hours doing these modules when I could have spent one ……..
I slammed my head down on the table in misery. Serves me right for not reading the module handbook really. Before we left for the week we had a chat about cornona (we are all confused as it if we need to worry or not) and were treated to some amazing cakes by our placement lead. Worry not , I have the recipe !
I headed back and after picking some McBurger sauces up from McDonalds (judge me, go on), I headed back to a Friday evening supposedly catching up on work …… that did not happen.
Woke up today with the news Corona has spread to Coventry with one patient being treated in UHCW for it. Here we go ……