Friday, July 22, 2011

End of Week 2.

Wow this week went by really quickly. One more week and then summer holiday!

So last week wasn't the most productive, so this week I wanted to make sure I get lots of patient histories and examinations done, as well as find a patient for my SSC project. This week I have managed to do about five patient histories and managed to do at least two physical examinations on 3 of the 5 patients. Again today (Friday), was my most productive day. Started bright and early and went to go see a patient my partner and I had taken a history from yesterday. The patient was going to be discharged today so we quickly did all the physical examinations we needed to do for our SSC project. Our SSC project requires us to find a patient where we do a full case history and all physical examinations (Cardio, Respiratory, GI, GALS, and CNS). This patient was extremely nice. I mean he was not feeling well and was quite frail. My partner and I expected him to say "no" when we asked for permission to take a history and examine him, but to our surprise he quickly said "yes" with a big smile on his face!

We first asked why he was admitted into hospital and listening to his history made me feel quite sad. This patient lives on his own and is almost at the grand age of 90 and he had collapsed on his floor at night. Because no one lived with him, no one knew he had collapsed and unfortunately he could not get up off the floor. He spent the entire night on the cold floor and because he had not answered his phone, his son had gotten worried about him and went to see if he was alright. The way the patient described his ordeal made it sound painful and you just feel really bad for the patient. He looked very upset and distressed about collapsing and told us that the pain he had from falling was immense. Whilst talking to the patient, we realized he was quite short of breath and had a constant and productive cough; therefore, we thought we should give the patient a break and would come back and examine him the next day (Friday).

So today we went to see the patient and the nurses told us not to bother the patient because they had just finished ward rounds and had prodded him quite a bit. He also looked quite tired as well and did not look very comfortable. We were then told he was going to be discharged later in the afternoon, so after popping to another ward to join a ward round we went back to the patient and asked if it was alright to do a quick full examination on him. Again, we were expecting to hear a "no" and a "leave me alone!" as he did look quite annoyed; however, he looked at us and promptly smiled and told us that he'll be more than happy to let us examine him. Because the patient looked quite tired, we tried to do our examination as quick as possible to minimize the amount of "prodding" we had to do. At the end we thanked our patient again and he gave us a firm handshake and wished us good luck with our career. He said it with so much sincerity and kindness it definitely brightened up my day. If I was in the patient's position I definitely would not let two medical students poke around and bother me if I was not feeling well. What a kind man and I got to say, my partner and I had learned a lot from this patient as he had an extensive history and was an immense pleasure to talk to.

Also now being my 2nd week of venturing the hospital, I realized that the staff in the ward I am placed in are starting to recognize me and it was nice to see them saying "Hi" to me. Makes me feel like I am not invisible and that the staff do remember there's a medical student wandering around. I even had a lovely chat with one of the nurses as well and finally felt welcomed. Worst part is that next week is my last week and I feel like I am starting to get the hang of being in my ward and getting to know people. The turnover is so quick as each placement only lasts 3 weeks for us (total of 4 placements). Can't believe that next week is my last week! I feel like I've still got lots of stuff to do. I still have to be assessed on doing a patient history and a physical examination by a doctor. As well, I need to find another patient for my second SSC project with some sort of ethics and law background to it, such as discussing patient confidentiality, DNR forms, etc. Not only do we have to do that, but also we need to find our consultant. We haven't seen him since Monday in theatre as he is away for the rest of this week. He said he'll be back next Monday and my partner and I will have to chain him down (as he can vanish into thin air in a blink of an eye) and hopefully arrange a meeting with him on Wednesday morning as he will be free. I will definitely make the most of my final week and I still haven't been in clinic so I'm going to try really hard to go to one next week. It should be good. And then...I'll be HOME! Haven't been back since winter holiday and I'm starting to get really homesick.

Anyways sorry for the long post. Will update next week if I have time!


  1. This certainly sounds very excting, to be a medical school in the UK... that is my lifetime goal!

    I'm applying for med schools this year... I've read your tips, and it would definately help me! I just started by first draft of PS, and I am hoping it to get it done asap, so that my tutor can look at it.


    -a Canadian-Korean with a big heart and a big dream!

  2. I wish you'd stop apologising for your "long" posts - they're all a thoroughly enjoyable read, so the longer the better I say!