Posts Tagged ‘work’

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.


June 21st, 2008 No comments

So my exams are over, by a full week (very up-to-date…not), and I’m now enjoying a well forgotten freedom.

The results are due out on Monday so I should probably be preparing either a pass or fail post. Based on how I felt they went I’d say it should be a pass – without being too confident – but I may just be a bit too hopeful. We were told quite firmly that nothing specific from 1st year that we hadn’t covered again this year would come up in the papers.

Oh how they lied!

There was a good many marks that came from purely 1st year material. Thankfully only 1 question really stumped me and I still managed to put something down for it.

The OSCEs were pretty good, hopefully haven’t failed them. I did have to do an exam on my girlfriend which was possibly the most nervous station out of them all. She says I passed though, guess that could just be to comfort me (although I doubt it!). The introductions of the spot stations was a bugger, two came from one cell biology lab right at the start of the year and pretty much everyone was pissed off by them. According to the guy who’s marking them however they haven’t changed results too much. I hope that means 250 passes.

Following the end of exams on the Friday (and an interesting weekend) I started work on the Monday morning. By noon on the Monday I had taken blood for the first time. It was quite a nervous attempt – on our trainer no less – but I got there in the end. The mornings for the rest of the week involved us taking it from patients for real on the wards. I struggled in a number of cases but on the whole I don’t feel I did to badly. I even had the delightful pleasure of taking blood from someone’s foot!

The last day of the week involved working in a clinic. My second patient to bleed was particularly interesting. Not only could I not manage it, neither could my trainer and indeed the consultant was struggling. He finally managed though and gave us a nice chat about it and his book (Medical Biochemistry, for those interested) afterwards.

I’ve also found out that this 2 week training is followed by 4 weeks of mentoring on-site. Considering I’m contracted to do 8 hour weekends this is a bit of a bugger for me. I can’t work a full day since the service only works in the morning. I can’t go home and work because I need to be there for a month. That said, I don’t want to be working for a couple of weekends following training anyway – T in the Park!. I’m not sure what the outcome of this will be. My mum’s amazed that anyone can make you work weekdays for 6 weeks so you can eventually do the weekends, which is what the contract is for. To be honest, I see her point. Although I have no actual contact…yet.

On the off-chance anyone reading this has any use for a PHP dev/tech support/general layabout in the UK, feel free to get in touch. I’d prefer to be paid but if you’ve got something remotely interesting then I might be tempted to get involved regardless.

Next post will like to be result related. Eek!

Categories: General Tags: , , , ,

Stressful time

May 17th, 2008 No comments

With just over 20 days left to go till the exam week things are beginning to get a bit stressful. In comparison, however, I’m a lot less stressed than the great majority of others. I’m not sure whether that is a good thing or not, a little bit of stress would surely help me get some work done.

We’re largely expecting the exam this year to be a lot easier (or at least fairer) than the one last year. This is a bit of a kick for those resitting and I feel sorry for them. I’m also expecting this exam to be one of the easiest that will be coming up in the next few years, or maybe that’s just me hoping.

In comparison the OSCE is beginning to scare me. Clinical exams are fair enough, I can practice them to hell before the days of the exam. However they’ve promised us 5 “spot” checks which will be unstaffed stations with some sort of item to identify. The item, we gather, could be some sort of x-ray (fair enough, make it simple please), barium swallow (we’ve seen a few of them, not in the mood for interpreting one though), ECG? I hope not, and then the threat of some histology slides – bugger!

Throw in the communication skills stations, one of which will be an ethical case, and then I really start feeling nervous. Worse, they’re spreading the torture over 2 days, the first in a peripheral hospital and the second in the med school. I’m not really expecting many people to fail it so that offers a bit of reassurance. Thankfully we also get the results relatively soon after (especially compared to school exams!).

In true avoiding revision style I’m spending this afternoon doing a moving and handling (part 2) course. Sounds like fun…ish. In fact, I might be giving up the next 2 Saturdays to go to the cup final and part 3. Perfect timing!

Still haven’t heard anything from either job. Apparently the safari park aren’t the best with online applications so I’ve got a form back home to fill out. Seriously need a job….

Categories: General Tags: , ,

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