Sunday, 28 November 2010

Stopping to take a breath

Wow, what a busy week!  Since student finance don't seem to be sorting themselves out I updated my CV and a cover letter and dropped them round the local GP surgeries and luckily was called in two days later by one for an interview a couple of days later and started work the next day.  It's nothing terribly amazing - I'm an administrator on a zero hours contract, so I work when they need stuff doing and when I have the time.  At the moment I am working through their backlog of letter dictations and I'm having the best time!  I find it really fascinating to be able to combine my administration know-how with medicine, and I'm hoping that immersing myself in medicine a bit more might make it easier to learn.  I would also really like a dictation/transcription foot pedal that works with Real Player so I can type my lecture notes streamed from the online uni portal faster.  The one at work is amazing!  I have descended into a whole new level of geekiness from which I fear I cannot be saved.

Asides from paid work I have sat my clinical competency exam in basic life support, taking blood pressure and examination of the pregnant abdomen, and am happy to say I passed all three with top marks.  I have been to lectures both boring, interesting and extra.  One which I found fascinating was some new theories being tested about treating septic shock patients.  The macro-circulation vasodilates but the micro-circulation (the capillaries) vasoconstricts, so although you can oxygenate patients the oxygen doesn't actually get to where it is required, so although the sats appear normal (because we can't measure oxygenation of the microcirculation) the septic patients still die.  They have been able to visualise the blood moving through the capillaries and in normal, healthy people it flows freely, in anaemic people you can see the lack of red blood cells and in septic patients the blood moves slowly and gets clogged up and stuck.  The theory being that now researchers should look for drugs which target the capillaries and vasodilate them.  I found that I really missed going to lectures where the material comes straight from the lab.  I love the clinical lectures that we do, but I miss hearing about the exciting new research.  It's great to be taught by someone who is so passionate about their work, and the way they explain it makes the science sound so elegant.  Hmmm, maybe I'm already to geeky to be saved :)

I also donned my fancy dress and sparkly shoes for the Medsoc Winter ball which was fantastic.  The committee did a great job.  We all got these free insulated travel mugs printed with the Peninsula logo which will make morning PBL session so much more bearable.  We have finished the last case unit of the year and now move into three weeks of SSU (student selected unit), but seeing as it's a formative SSU, I don't think we have much contact time so most people are treating it as an extension to the two weeks we get off for Christmas.  There's just an SSU essay and a portfolio analysis essay to do and that's me done for the year.  It seems to have gone very quickly.

Because the next three weeks will be so slack, it sort of feels like Christmas is a lot closer than it actually is.  This isn't being helped by how cold it is.  We don't have any snow down here, but when I was rowing this morning we were having to break the ice with our blades to get them in to take the stroke, and there was one terrifying moment when I went to put the blade in and it bounced straight off the surface.  We were going round a corner at the time, so if we can't row we can't steer and we were heading straight for a bank.  Luckily there were no accidents.  Every time splash came up it froze on us, the blades and riggers had icicles hanging off them and I was wondering why I wasn't warmly tucked up in bed.  I really should start Christmas shopping....

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