Sorry for the late update. Literally left for Canada the day after the end of my first placement, so I haven't had time to update.
Anyways. This was my final week on my first placement. I realized that the patient I was originally going to use for my SSC project/essay does not fit the criteria for the essay. Therefore, I was out hunting for another SSC patient. Decided to take a stroll to the Coronary Care Unit to see if there are any straight forward patients. We met a patient who was quite talkative and in general well enough to talk to us. He had an MI and was waiting for a bypass surgery. This time I made sure we got every single bit of info we need for this essay and all in all it was a really straight forward patient history. Did cardio, respiratory, and abdominal physical examinations. The patient was really friendly and actually didn't want us to leave because he was so bored. Kinda feel bad for some of the patients as they really do look like they are bored out of their mind. Some of them don't even get patients so you really do sympathize.
Actually before we went SSC patient hunting (on Monday) we went to theatre to look for our consultant. We literally stood there for 1.5 hour as our consultant was late and we didn't want to risk missing him so we turned up quite early. Finally caught our consultant racing through the corridor and asked to meet him on Wednesday so we could get our proformas signed off. I swear those 1.5 hours were horrendous as nurses kept asking if we were alright and if we needed anything. Swear we nearly blended into the background.
So come Wednesday, our consultant had clinic so we went to meet him at his clinic...only to find out he isn't there yet and will be an hour late. Great. I decided to talk to the SHO and nurses about bariatric surgery as I was thinking of writing up about it for my 2nd SSC essay on ethics and law. Had a really really good conversation going and I learned quite a lot. It's all down to personal opinion and it is definitely an interesting topic. So an hour later, consultant turns up...only to be in a bad-ish mood and completely ignored my partner and I. We waited til the end of his clinic to talk to him. So we gave him our proformas for him to assess how we did in placement. He took our sheets, quickly glimpse and it, and just circled "Satisfactory" for each section. My partner and I were panicking and our consultant returned the sheets to us without leaving feedback. In general it is expected for us to get an overall mark of "Good" in placement or else the medical school may think we didn't show up to placement. So out of desperation we asked if we can show him what we have been doing on placement as he hasn't watched us therefore couldn't really mark us properly. We were hoping after showing him our work he would raise our grade. He told us to meet him in between surgery on Thursday at 12:30pm.
We get there at 12pm...he apparently finished his first surgery early and had an early lunch break so he could get on with his second surgery. So we stood in for one of his surgeries which was expected to be only 2 hours. Not bad right? Wrong...midway through surgery we had a complication and the surgery ended up taking 4.5 hours. My legs were not happy with me. I think at one point I lost feeling in my quads. After surgery, our consultant was obviously annoyed, but still managed to meet us. We gave him a new proforma and he was like "Didn't I sign something like this yesterday?". We pretty much told him it's a different sheet and it requires written feedback. Somehow he fell for it and before marking us we showed him all our patient histories we took over the 3 weeks. Despite all the effort...he still gave us "Satisfactory" but in the feedback he put down that it was difficult to mark us and was sure we were "good/excellent" students but he didn't get the opportunity to watch us in the wards. At least we got some sort of reason. But to be honest, we now understand why he gave us a "Satisfactory".
So on Friday, we actually had nothing to do and it was our last day. Went in at like 10pm and my partner and I decided to get assessed on our history and examination skills. I think I did alright in it, but was told that my smiling was unprofessional. Still confused about it because if I was a patient I wouldn't want to be greeted by a doctor looking like he/she doesn't give a crap and is in a bad mood. Anyways everyone has their own opinions but it was one feedback point that I will keep in the back of my mind but definitely won't change the way I greet patients. It's not like I excessively smile and laugh/be inappropriate with my facial expression. Just want to treat the patients like a person. It was a weird one to get my head around, and still kinda bothers me. Oh well. After the assessment, we managed to leave at like 12pm and returned our lockers and bleeps. Only if I could relax the minute I got home. It was more like "need to pack. need to pack. need to pack." I don't think I sat down at all for the rest of the day as I was running all over the place trying to get things done and running some final errands before I left.
All in all my first placement as a student doctor has been enjoyable and I definitely learned loads. When I return to placements at the end of September, I will be able to take bloods and do injections/perform invasive procedures, so I'm really looking forward to that. Shame I have 2 weeks of 9-5 lectures prior to my 2nd placements. Yuck.
But finally a week into holiday I've had my chance to sleep in and relax. Now getting to writing up my first SSC essay. The brain hardly wants to work though.
Anyways sorry again for the late update. Hope everyone is enjoying their holiday! Freshers week is getting closer! :D