Placement this week was with a school nurse. My schools didn't have school nurses, so I didn't really know what to expect. I was envisaging spending two hours watching nurses give out paracetamol and sticky plasters. Instead it was a two hour lecture on the school nurse system and their roles and responsibilities, mainly focussing on the child protection aspect. This finished with the nurse telling us a couple of stories of previous cases she had worked on - one about teen pregnancy and one on sexual child abuse. The stories took place over many years and you could tell she really cared about the people she was looking after, and even got quite emotional. I certainly didn't recognise that school nurses would get continuity of care like GP's did. A midwife looks after you from birth to 10 days (up to 28 if they have specific concerns), then a community health visitor looks after you from 10 days to 4.5 years. The school nurse then takes over until you are 18. Most of their referrals come from teachers or students, but every time a policeman picks up a young person they call the school nurse the child is under to inform them. It was really interesting, but would have been better suited to a lecture than a placement.
Tuesday I got to play dress-up!! In clinical skills we learnt how to scrub in for surgery and theatre etiquette. Is it really necessary to wash your hands 9 times?! Ha, my blisters were not amused. We also learnt to suture, which I thought would have been easier because I went to that workshop on it, but it turned out the lady demonstrating does it a different way to the guy that taught me before, so it wasn't as straight forward as I was hoping it was going to be. Ah well, more time in the self directed learning lab for me.
Today I had a very nice lunch - it was free :) We had an email sent round asking for students from all years to go to an hour long meeting about community placements and give our feedback to the deans and placement staff. I went, but there was only me and one other student, a fourth year. It was pretty cool to be in a room with all theses GP's and important staff looking at us and actually being interested in what we have to say. To the extent that I think they'll be making some changes based on our opinions which was pretty awesome. I'd say if you could go to any meetings like that at your uni, definitely go. It's quite fascinating to see the inner workings of it, and I'm not normally into things like that. And as I said, I think it might have done some good.
Tomorrow will see me strapping on a set of plastic breasts as we learn how to do breast examination in clinical skills, and on that visual... good night :)