For my 2nd placement, I've been placed in the Stroke Unit. On the first day I realized that this is the first time I've been placed on a medical ward. For the last few hospital placements - they have ALL been in surgery. I was definitely preparing myself for the worst as I really do enjoy surgical attachments and I wasn't sure what to expect from a medicine attachment. Also the fact that I was placed in the Stroke Unit was quite intimidating. In my mind Stroke = Neuro = intense. I was scared as heck on the first day and quite nervous, but also excited for the unknown.
The minute I stepped onto the ward, I was greeted by a really friendly receptionist who assured my partner and I that the doctors on this ward are really nice. We asked to see consultant X, but was then told that he no longer works at the hospital. What a great start to the day. We then muttered out another consultant name, Dr Y, and immediately the receptionist became very reassuring as she guaranteed us that we will be just fine with this consultant. Apparently he is very friendly and is a great teacher. I was starting to get excited. Right before going to the Dr Y's office we bumped into another consultant, Dr B. I must admit, I was surprised to learn that he was a consultant as he is quite young. He seemed really friendly...and perhaps
Anyways we then joined Dr B on ward rounds and pretty much got grilled to death by questions. I guess that's his way of teaching. Not exactly the method I would prefer to learn from as I do get quite nervous when put under pressure with a question, but Dr B is a really nice guy so I'm not too scared about answering a question wrong. He wouldn't put you down or look disappointed, he would simply acknowledge and explain the answer to his question. With this method of teaching, I guess things stick in my head for longer as you remember being grilled on that topic and stuff stands out a bit more.
Impressions of the ward? I'm really surprised at the range of ages on the ward. You would expect the whole ward to be elderly people, but to my surprise - there were quite a lot of middle aged patients. Made me realize that stroke isn't an elderly person's problem, but it can be a risk to anyone of any age. The ward is also extremely friendly and relaxed. You don't feel pressured or watched on the ward. It's also nice that the nurses and junior doctors have welcomed us and do acknowledge our presence. Quite a difference from my last placement where I felt like an ignored object standing in the middle of a corridor looking really awkward and lost. Here, I feel a part of the ward.
I got to admit I have learned loads. I mean LOADS. Information overload. I have learned so much from both Dr B and Dr Y. They are really amazing at teaching. And it's really nice that they show us physical signs and teach us how to classify the signs as we do the ward rounds. I'm definitely looking forward to next week where we will learn more about stroke/neuro. From time to time, I do miss watching surgeries though, but it's good to finally experience a medicine attachment. Not a bad start I guess!