Many apologies for the lack of updates...A&E is proving to be a lot busier than first thought. My first week was a bit shaky as I started off with a week of night shifts. I really did not know what to expect. I made sure I sorted out my sleeping schedule and got plenty of sleep right before my shift. No matter how many placements I go on, the first day will always be slightly awkward. Literally stood around for a good hour by the doctor's desk waiting for a friendly doctor to say hi and welcome my group and I. Nope. Eventually we stopped a doctor and was quickly told: "Get stuck in! There is the box of the patient notes. Take a history and stalk the box and see which doctor picks up the patient you saw." Was quite perplexed and shrugged and just "got stuck in". Eventually attached myself to a doctor and found myself with a list of jobs, which included putting cannulas in and taking bloods. Just coming off from Anaesthetics proved useful, as I was still confident in putting in cannulas and was popping them in with ease. Though not having another pair of hands to help like we do in the anaesthetics room in theatre was proving to be quite tricky (and messy). Eventually it got to about 4am, and you notice yourself starting to lapse in concentration. I was definitely starting to miss veins and needed to "fish around" before getting into a vein when inserting a cannula. What's really annoying is that no matter how late I eat my dinner, I will get hungry at 4am. Luckily the doctors were really chilled and are always prepared. The registrar brings food for the team on night shifts so when A&E was calming down, we all sat around and snacked. Thankfully my first night wasn't too busy and the doctors told us to leave at around 5:30am. It was eerily quiet when leaving the hospital. And the roads were even quieter.
Anyways the next few days of nights progressively got quieter and quieter which was quite "abnormal". Just my luck. Didn't manage to see as many patients and didn't get to feel that useful/productive. At least the nights treated me well! Then I had to start my weekend night shifts. Saturday night...should be interesting! Swear the first 5 patients I saw had "intoxicated +++" written at the top of their notes. It was actually very frustrating to try and get histories out from them or their friends. What was a bit shocking was that there were students coming in from other cities to experience the night life here and end up getting completely plastered (and ending up in A&E). I personally would never go to a foreign city and get absolutely plastered. I guess I would be a bit more "aware" in a foreign city as the last place I want to end up in is in A&E. But of course, everyone has their own version of "fun" and I'm just a boring...old...medical student. Other than the non-stop flow of "intoxicated +++" people, it was a fairly uneventful night. Didn't really get to do very much either.
All in all, night shifts weren't actually that bad! But I do think I got off quite lightly as my friends who were on night shifts said they saw a few cardiac arrests and a few trauma cases. Oh well.
I'll try and make a few more posts this weekend. Need to catch up! Apologies again!