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Acute Block – Week Five

Monday

718 Tired Officer Photos and Premium High Res Pictures - Getty Images
My current mind set, getting to the end of this week.

5 more days to go Abbie. Just five more days and you’ll have two weeks off. I need it badly. We had online teaching today, which was good as I got to have a bit of a lie in and sleep. We didn’t start till the afternoon but did an important session on writing death certificates which was very hard hitting.

We will get taught how to certify death and then, more than likely, I will have to certify it at some point in my first year as a doctor. It is very easy to do but the difficulty is listing the conditions. There are three / four spaces and you have to order them correctly. Say for example, someone had end stage COPD but died from Covid. It would have to be listed as Covid followed by COPD.

Death certificate
Example from Geeky Medics

Sometimes it is not as clear-cut as this, though, and it can be difficult to decide which order to go in.

We then had our neurology teaching, which I was in my ELEMENT for. Honestly, brains are in my future.

Wednesday

On Wednesday I had a day off but got to do some things for me! I spoke at the Med-U-Cate conference run by Holly Egan who is a Med Student from Manchester. I’ve known Holly on Instagram for a while, so it was an honour to be invited to talk. I spoke about being a disabled medical student and how it affects day to day life. I am keen to spread the message that having a disability whether that be mental health, physical or social/ communication/ learning does not mean you can’t do medical school.

It frustrates me when I hear of people saying their teachers have told them they will never be good enough for Med school just because they aren’t a “normal, healthy” human being. That is no reason at all to not be a good doctor, just the view society takes.

I then went to meet my best friend from undergraduate degree. She is from the area but is currently studying at Swansea on the GEM course there. We went to the pizza place my consultant recommended in Surgery block and I have to say, it did live up to expectations.

It was amazing to see Rosie again. We’ve gone from seeing each other every day to barely talking in months. Not because we don’t want to know what each other is up to but because we are just so busy.

It was nice to escape reality for the afternoon. I really needed it.

Thursday

On Thursday I had one of the best shifts of the entire block. I was in minors and got to see and treat (under the guidance and green light of the nurses) all by myself. I love being able to just get on and do things. I learn better by doing instead of literally watching someone all day.

I got to see a variety of conditions that are typical of minors patients such as sprains, minor cuts and unexplained pain. I really enjoyed just getting to see and examine patients by myself and coming up with my own management plans.

I felt bad that we couldn’t completely fix every problem, but it was good to see what the crux of minors is, and that’s to sort out acute problems that can be fixed there and then. These things are like bandaging a wound or providing a boot for a sprain, the rest has to go back through GP. This isn’t ideal as I know how difficult it is to get a GP appointment, but often these people need to be referred to specialists or put on long term medication, which is something minors can’t do.

Friday

We finally made it. The last day of the block. We made it.

I was up at an ungodly hour to get to UHCW for sign off. Weirdly, they had made our mini-cex the last thing on the block, when it is normally the easiest skill to get signed off. So, I dragged myself there (with a slight spring in my step as I knew I was going back home for a nap) and did my sign-off. We had to do an A-E on a little Annie doll (which is annoying because you have to keep asking for the data you need, which interrupts your flow).

I managed to get through it (need to revise how to manage DKA) and just had to wait for my end of block sign off. I like how organized phase three is. I remember in phase two running around trying to get these sign-offs done which were a nightmare to do, now this year, everything is booked in which is a weight off my shoulders.

I got my sign off done with a doc who is into F1 (the racing not the job) and we had a good chat about it.

And then that was it. End of year three. Now, two weeks off (badly needed) in which I will be sleeping, walking the dog, and sleeping.

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