Friday, 6 May 2011

The Many Hatted Bean

I had a toughie today, I really had to restrain myself.  I was at job number 2, the GP surgery and was working on the front desk on my own.  A mother rang up clearly upset.  She was asking for an appointment as soon as possible for her young son because the anti-histamines weren't working and she didn't know what to do.  She said she kept giving him more but all they were doing was making him sleepy and difficult to wake in the mornings which she was feeling very guilty for.  Without thinking, whilst looking for open appointments my med student hat slipped on and I asked what was wrong, although I had pretty much guessed from her description.  I was correct, her son had eczema.  He's fine in the morning, but his skin gets redder and itchier throughout the day, so she wanted an afternoon appointment so the Dr could see how bad it was and how the anti-histamines weren't working.  She was so upset and beating herself up about giving him poor care, and I really wanted to tell her that all anti-histamines are given for is to make them drowsy enough to sleep through the itch at night.  I've just done my dermatology placement see, I know about eczema.  I don't like to think the Dr didn't explain the treatment regimen to her, I would hope it's just she didn't quite understand.  After all, if we get an itchy rash because we're allergic to it we take anti-histamines, but it doesn't work that way in the little ones with eczema.

A little later on, a patient was being very particular with the appointment slots they wanted, and I came across a colour of appointment slot I didn't recognise.  We use different colours to denote different classes of appointment, for example purple would be admin, green slots are bookable only on the day, red for bloods, orange for imms (the nurses get upset if they have to do more than two baby imms in a clinic, they don't like making the babies cry)  etc.  This one was a sludgey green and when I asked my colleague she peered over my shoulder and said 'oh, that means there's students in.  So you see a student and the Dr just observes.  Are you sure you're alright with that, you don't have to, you can see a proper Dr.'  She made it sound so awful, as though it was unimaginable anyone would want to be seen by a student because we're all such horrible people, aren't we?  It was a fifth years clinic as well, so they're pretty much qualified, especially given our strange exam style.  Ooo, I so wanted to tell her to be quiet and stop painting us in such a bad light.

I also had a bit of a silly bean moment.  I was summarising patient notes, and one set said a patient had had a termination, and the tests carried out on the fetus showed it was a mole.  I'd never heard this term before and was puzzling as to how a person can be pregnant with a cute, blind, fluffy thing (a la Moley from Wind in the Willows).  Especially because one of the random facts stuck in my brain is that humans are the only animal that cannot breed interspecies.  When the sperm reaches the egg, if it's not human sperm the egg locks down and it can't penetrate.  Cool, huh?  Anyway, after some googling I found it's a molar pregnancy and it's when the egg doesn't have any DNA, or the egg is fertilised by two sperm.  This results in either a 46 chromosome all coming from the sperm, or a 69 or 92 chromosome foetus that doesn't develop properly and can form a cancer.
Photo from photobucket

Oops.  Ah well, can still hide under the big "I'm a Fresher, don't laugh at me, I know very little" placard for a little while longer.  Job number 3 finishes tomorrow, no more censusing bean.  And I should be able to fix my car, once my parents give me back the money I lent them.  I've applied for another job, it's perfect.  Ha, another job, I can feel Mr groaning and rolling his eyes, telling me I don't need another job, I need to study.  Which is true, but I need both.  Dilemma.  Anyway, this one is to potentially replace job number 1 and be my full time summer job.  It pays slightly better and is set in the hospital, collecting data for an endocrinology randomised control trial.  Reading the blurb about who they are looking for, you couldn't write one better suited to me if you tried.  The only problem is that the closing date for applications is June 10th, the last day of term.  Ideally, I should be telling job number 1 I want to come back now.  I can't really tell them I want to come back and then pull out at the last minute if I get this awesome job, because that's not fair and they'll never have me back again.  On the other hand, if I leave it they may not factor me into their work planning and budget.  Plus HR are unbelievable slow at sorting contracts and log ons and swipe cards to enter the building (since they de-activated mine and they can't re-activate it *sniff*).  Sooo, I don't really know what to do.  I've been hankering to get back into research since my dissertation, and if they want to pay me to do it, all the better.  I may even be able to wheedle my name onto the end of the authors list of the paper, you never know.  But I can earn £3000 for definite at job 1, which is a major chunk of money, and not to be sniffed at.  Even if I am finding the job incredibly dull since starting my double life as a wide-eyed in wonderment med student.  I don't know!  Inspiration and a firm decision either way kindly accepted.  Can pay in chocolate, since I found when going home for Easter that I hadn't actually eaten last years Easter eggs yet..... 

PS.  Mr gets awarded a shiny sword today for being very clever and coming top of his Army training course. I'm very proud of him and although I couldn't be there to watch him get awarded it, I'm sure he looks very nice in his fancy uniform with a new shiny sword.  *Beams* <3

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