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Closer to home

February 19th, 2009

Thankfully this week is the week we changed hospitals for both PBL and clinical practice. My new hospital is considerably closer to my flat and doesn’t cost me a penny to travel to. So far so good, until day 1.

We turn in at 9am to the corridor between two wards. Slowly but surely our numbers swell as we approach 24 students with all our bags and jackets cluttering the reasonably busy corridor. Despite the frequency of people passing us, relatively few give us more than a slight look. After around 10-15 minutes we’re asked who were here to see. The problem? It’s day one and we have no idea.

It’s soon worked out that our consultant is downstairs. Our enquirer mentions he’ll go find out what’s going on. The consultant appears.

“Hello, my name is such-and-such*. I’m who you’re here to see. Just finishing a ward round I should be about 10-15 minutes.”

Off he goes, we’re relatively reassured that someone does care about us to some degree.

15 minutes pass, we wait.

30 minutes pass, we wait…restlessly.

45 minutes pass, by which point a good few more people are wondering why we’re still here.

Finally, our consultant returns. Only an hour of standing in a corridor. Great start.

The next bit is generally more promissing. He takes us around the majority of the hospital showing us wards of interest. For some rather unknown reason he decides to lift my name badge and take a peak at my name. Do I feel threatened or mearly smile it off?

As we cover the important areas and return to pick up our belongings I feel rather mixed about the morning. The orientation was useful but was there really a need to make us stand and wait? Oh well, PBL in the afternoon…

I struggle to find the PBL room but eventually get pointed in the correct direction. Guess the orientation wasn’t too useful after all? Again we gradually increase in size until all seats in the room are filled. Still we’re waiting for our facilitator. 15 minutes tick by. After around 20 minutes we agree that half past is sufficiently long to be waiting. What felt like 29 minutes past arrived and a secretary peaks her head in,

“No-one here to take you yet? Who is it meant to be?’

We mutter some names. It is our first day after all.

“Ok, I’ll go see what I can find out”. Great, now we have to wait.

The allocated facilitator is never found. Our morning consultant arrives, less than pleased, and takes the rather brisk session.

Closer to home I might be but it seems the time spent travelling will now be time waiting.

* - Not their real name…

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