Thursday, June 14, 2012

Difficulty of Going Backwards.

So I've had a week of lectures...which to be fair weren't too intense. They weren't 9-5 lectures so I can't really complain. Ever since January, I feel like I have made leaps and bounds in terms of progression in clinical experience. In paediatrics, I hardly did any clinical skills and was in a small group for my placement. I had a partner with me for all clinics and was never really on my own. Didn't really even see patients on my own either. Then we get to Obs and Gynae...slowly venturing out a bit and being a bit more independent. Still in a small group on my placement, BUT I didn't have a partner to go with to clinic/theatre. I was actually scared to be on my own as I have never really been to clinic on my own and you get all these thoughts of: "Ahh no one to bail me out when the consultant asks me a question." I actually really enjoyed going to clinics on my own as you get to chat with the consultant more and it isn't as daunting for patients to have two students watching/sitting in. I definitely started becoming more independent on placements and started being more proactive in guiding my learning.

Then my last placement in orthopaedics. It was the first time I ever attended a placement on my own. I have always been in a small group. Funny enough my first concern was: "Who the heck is going to eat lunch with me?!" I am definitely not a fan of eating on my own as it is painfully boring. I like to talk during my lunch as I eat quite quickly so talking helps me slow down. I can easily scoff down lunch in 5-10 minutes and I end up taking extremely short lunch breaks. Luckily, due to my half-days I was able to go home to eat so I didn't have to sit in a cafeteria eating on my own and staring off into space. When I did have to eat lunch at the hospital I was usually with my consultant/registrar so we all ate together. But yeah my independence was really tested in this placement as everything I did was all "me". No one to fall back on. No one to rely on. No one to catch your mistakes...other than the consultant. Went to see new patients on my own and do full examinations on my own..then presented to my supervisor. If you had asked me to do that in my paeds placement...I wouldn't be confident enough to do it. I guess that's one thing with being dropped in the deep end. Got to learn quick and deal with it quickly. To be honest it did help that my supervisor is probably one of the nicest people I have ever met so I knew if I made a mistake I wouldn't get a full blown telling off/humiliation. It was also nice that I actually got to do things during my placement such as see patients, do examinations, assist in surgery, etc.

Now...sitting in lectures on a very hard plastic seat (even the clinic chairs are more comfy) in a small tutorial room...painful. I was talking to my friends and they kept saying it was nice to have a relaxed week of just sitting around and doing nothing but listen. I actually struggled this week. I may not be the hardest working medical student...but I hate sitting around. Especially with my last 2 placements where I was actually being productive and learning loads on placement...I am actually a bit sick of sitting in lectures and listening to one person talk about the same subject for 2-3 hours. Also got my induction pack for my next placement (GP) and the first thing I read: "Patients should not be seen by medical students who are on their own. Medical students will be supervised at ALL times." I'm totally looking forward to GP excited that I'm bouncing off the walls (sarcasm). I really really hope that the package is a bit outdated and my GP will let me go see patients on my own and do some examinations. It's weird getting so much independence and responsibilities...and suddenly being stripped from all of it and back to holding hands. If this is the this is going to be a shock to the system.

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