Posts Tagged ‘phlebotomy’

A bloody week back

January 17th, 2009 2 comments

Since returning to Uni after the holidays we’ve been concentrating so far on haematology – the study of blood related issues. Particularly interesting were the clinical sessions on the ward. Haematology is a tricky speciality where the majority of the really common pathologies – things like anaemia – are handled in an outpatient setting. This makes it pretty difficult for us to see them and get to grips with their care.

Inpatients for haematology usually involve some sort of malignancy and it’s these patients that we’ve been concentrating on recently. Due to the set up of our sessions we have different tutors on each session with very minimal communication between tutors. This meant that we ended up bugging a poor patient twice and yet it continues to amaze me how reasonable patients are when 6 students turn up at their bedside to awkwardly look at them and ask questions. I’d certainly be fed up with it all, even without a cancer raging through my body.

The patient then presented to his GP with increasingly severe headaches. This went on for a while without much relief. A sweeling was eventually present around and behind the ear. Originally believed to be an abcess in the brain it was only when a biopsy was taken that it became clear a lymphoma was the cause. Appropriate treatment has therefore been started and when we visited him for the second time it was clear at least a small reduction in swelling had taken place.

Unfortunately it doesn’t look good. The tumor has spread through the skull bones and a mass is present in the brain. It is possible that treatment may be curative but it’ll be a long haul with multiple rounds of chemo. Fortunately he has relatively few symptoms at the moment. However for a middle aged man to be spending considerable time in hospital is understandably frustrating. I plan to keep track with his progress and see if there is any change.

A much wider reaching topic is the benefit of having good consultant teaching. This only happened on one of our sessions and the contrast is striking. Hopefully it’ll continue for the rest of the year but I don’t really think that’s likely.

I end the week as I started – with yet more blood. This time I’m actually taking it. Whilst it seems like such a simple and generally enjoyable job it suffers under the problems common in the NHS. I work no more and usually less than 8 hours a week. Today I spend a further 3 trying to be told how to do something we never even do. Worse than that, doing so in front of my immediate boss would lead to very disapproving words. It’s a growing circle of red tape. Tomorrow I look forward to a personal interview about some development plan to decide how I will enhance my skills. After how ever long that takes we’ll then still have to get the bloods done by 10:30. It’s no wonder people are fed up – we can’t even do the job we’re there to do. Sigh.

Categories: Uni Tags: , , , ,

Early morning walk..

July 21st, 2008 No comments

This is usually the bridge I walk over on my way to work. As you can see, on Saturday my options were a bit restricted. I didn’t even know the bridge could do that so was a little surprised when I saw it. The River Festival was on and a number of boats were in the area which is why it was raised. Thankfully there’s another bridge a few minutes down the river and I managed to get to work on time (phew!).

Work itself is remarkably different at the weekend than the weekday. Things are a lot more relaxed and enjoyable as the majority of us are students. I’ve gained a lot of experience already at phlebotomy but I know I could do with more practice. When we get to the haematology ward then I really notice how much I struggle. Thankfully, most patients are happy to let me try a couple of times and many know they have, quite honestly, terrible veins.

I felt so sorry for the patients that I decided to go into town on Saturday and donate blood in the afternoon. One of my first aid colleagues works there but was unfortunately on a training course. Nevertheless the member of staff I was with knew him well enough to slag him off.

I’ve been told by 02 that I can’t get an iPhone until my contract is almost up. While this obviously makes business sense I was hoping for something similar to what they did for the original iPhone. Hopefully when they get a decent level of stock they’ll start to offer an upgrade to those who’ve registered interest. This puts my aim of christmas quite possible but we’ll see.

Tick tock

May 26th, 2008 2 comments

Two weeks this very day I will have finished the first paper of year two. I have jumped my revision into what I’d describe as 4th gear. Yesterday I managed to kill my personal record for revising in the SL – a whole 14 hours. Unfortunately this is probably a bit of an overestimate as I do need to eat, excrete and not forgetting procrastinate. I remain worryingly confident that all will be well. Even today, as I glanced over my least favourite of the blocks (gastro), I feel that come two weeks I will still be smiling – perhaps a little nervously.

At the moment I’ve been spending far too long looking at electives for the coming years – this assuming I will pass. Ideally, I’d love to spend my third year (junior) elective with the HEMS team in London and my senior one somewhere abroad. Unfortunately the competitiveness might be too much for me and I’m not generally too lucky. Still, it’s worth an email, I just want to wait till my exam results are in. I can’t really work out plans for my senior one until I know whether I will be intercalating or not. This is a big decision, probably bigger than it should be, and I’m still on the fence. I don’t even know whether I’d be allowed or not.

Three weeks today an I will have finished my first training session as a phlebotomist. Yes, I finally got some news. Apparently there was much of a mess up with recruitment and a few people have been having problems. The date is provisional, which is a bit of a problem come trying to work out a start date for the Safari Park. Hopefully the two should help avoid a financial hell-hole next year, combined with a much reduced rent.

Categories: General, Uni Tags: , ,

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