Monday, February 11, 2013

Slow Week - Anaesthesia

To be fair, every placement has a "slow" week. Mine is usually the first week...somehow out of my 4 week placement, I managed to have another slow week. Last week, I spent most of my time checking out the intensive care unit and the high dependency unit. I'll just say in my opinion, it is probably the "less exciting" part of the job. Lots of ward rounds! I really don't know what to take away from this week. Having said that, I did manage to get a lot of physiology teaching from a consultant anaesthetist. It was actually a really good refresher. The way he taught was based on quizzing (which I hate, but love at the same time). I was picked on most of the time as I was the only medical student and that the knowledge should be "fresher" in my mind. It made me realize that I actually haven't really forgotten about physiology. From the quizzing/grilling, I realized that I just lack confidence in my answers and should just be brave and say what I think the answer is. It's a shame that it takes massive pushing and pressure for me to get an answer out. Guess it's one thing I need to learn and obviously shows I need to hit the books a bit harder to build some confidence in my knowledge. The foundation knowledge is definitely there and I just need to "go for it".

Thankfully to end the week, I got to go back to theatre and was placed with a really good anaesthetist who let me do a lot of skills. I was putting in all the cannulas, holding the oxygen mask, and inserting LMAs. It felt really good. In the first week, despite being very determined to get some hands on, I was quite scared and nervous performing these skills. Now, I'm on it the minute the patient comes to the anaesthetic room. Gloves on. Equipment ready. Ready to go! It also showed me that with practice, you'll get better at the skills. I had to cannulate a tricky patient. I missed the vein on entry, but managed to salvage it and got the cannula in without needing to try in a different spot. Added bonus was that the consultant complimented me on it, so it was a definite boost to my confidence level! Thinking back to the last 2 weeks and seeing my placement come to an end - I think I've made leaps and bounds in terms of clinical skills. I built a lot of confidence in my clinical skills and in general feel just a bit more competent. My day in theatre really showed me how far I have come from the beginning of placement and I think I have accomplished what I have set out to do - to improve on my clinical skills.

I do realize that my posts have been fairly to be honest - there's not much to really talk about. I don't get to speak to as many patients as most are asleep. This placement was mainly refreshing my pharmacological and physiology knowledge and improving on my clinical skills.

Sorry for the boring read! I promise the end of this week's post will be more interesting!