Sunday, 27 May 2012

End of Term Feeling

As usual with me I have been busy-busy.  We finished the MS case unit, thank goodness and have also done an alcoholic liver disease one.  We are about to start our final case unit of the year.  Final case unit?  All ready?  How is that possible?  It's on Parkinson's and should be pretty light as we've done most of the extra stuff they wanted bundled in when we did the MS case unit.  I had a placement at the GP surgery for the day and completed my final competency for the year in history taking, which I'm pleased to say I got an excellent grade for.  I got to take lots of blood and do some INR tests and blood pressures - all pretty standard now, though I remember how excited I was on my first placement to take blood.  I've come so far in just a year.  It's sad, it's all going by so fast and I'm changing so much.  Not that change is bad, just that I can see the change in me when normally it creeps up on you over time and you don't notice it so much.

I went to the BSMS first annual medical student paeds conference over the May bank holiday weekend and had a blast.  I met loads of twitter friends in real life which was surreal and left the conference on the Sunday evening feeling inspired and shattered.  I had always fancied myself as a paeds neonatologist, but I'm now leaning more towards paediatric general surgery.  It's so exciting!  I've always thought I wouldn't be clever enough to be a surgeon, but the talks we had were so inspiring and fascinating, the little bean in my head was jumping up and down shouting "that's so cool, I wanna do that, that's so cool!"  So there's a good excuse for me to pick up the knitting needles again to maintain my dexterity.

I sat the final AMK of the year last week.  I started off thinking that it was really hard, and there was all sorts of stuff that I should have revised and didn't and I panicked a little.  From about half way through I found my mojo again though, and when I went back to do a final sweep of the questions I was iffy on I was much more confident.  I've answered 91/125 in the end.  I knew I didn't answer enough last time, so I've definitely answered more this time around, and the last time I answered that many I got my excellent.  However, it's easy to tie yourself in knots going round in circles about whether I was too confident, took too many risks, made silly mistakes, thought I knew more than I did, or made calculated judgements, know more than I think I do and should have more confidence in my abilities.  So, I'm going to stop torturing myself, accept that I can't change anything now, be happy that I've passed the other three of the year so I've passed the knowledge module and this doesn't matter too much, and just focus on the fact that I came out of the exam smiling.  I am happy with my performance, whatever happens.

I've made my SSU choices for next year.  I should hopefully get one from minimum access gyneacology, orthopaedics with a special interest in paediatrics, daydream believer (aneasthetics) and when does a normal labour become an abnormal labour;  one from surgery in children, A&E in Plymouth, A&E in Torbay (inc ambulances) and military medicine on the naval base in Plymouth; and finally, one from hyperbaric care, cardiopulmonary bypass, cystic fibrosis and healing the 'hole' (wound management and healing issues).  Because I'll be a third year these will all be in theatres or on wards and they are all so exciting I'll be disappointed whatever I get because I'll be missing out on the others, but that's awesome.  I've gone for kiddies, ortho and a&e because they are the three specialities I could see myself doing.  Paeds general surgery has my heart for now, but it's important to keep an open mind.  The other options were ones I thought looked really cool or that I didn't know much about.

Now we've done the AMK and the sun is here it just feels like the end of term.  I'm finding it hard to settle down and start panicking about ISCE's coming up in a few weeks, but I think so it everyone to be honest.  It's just as well it's nice weather because I've broken my toe and can't wear normal enclosed shoes, I'm living in flip flops.  Silly bean.  Mr came down this weekend to celebrate his birthday a little late because I was exam cramming, and we had a lovely day sat by the canal in a pub in the sun drinking cider.  I made him a death by chocolate ganache cake and we went out with friends for steak and cocktails in teapots.  It was perfect.  I have my fingers crossed at the moment because mr finds out his posting for the summer soon.  He either goes really far away, back to where he was in winter for two months (which was what we were expecting) and so we can go on our holiday we have booked, or he gets pulled off that and sent somewhere else in this country for three months, and has a leave ban so we can't go on holiday.  I've got my bags mentally packed and little bean has her floppy sun hat and bikini on, I really need this holiday.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

I'm Back!

It has been far too long since my last post.  Constant reader I'm truly sorry.  We had a consolidation week where I worked at the GP surgery.  Then we had two weeks of Easter break where I worked at the surgery.  Next came three weeks of SSU, where I worked at the surgery.  Spot a trend?  I've done a lot of work at the surgery and not much else.  We're back onto the normal timetable now and our case unit back is MS, which seems to be full of Neurology and cranial nerves, which I hate.

My SSU was called 'Wot you chattin about'.  I thought it would be about neuro-linguistic programming, but it turned out to be about active listening, being present/in the moment, quietening your internal narrative and finding your place in the world.  I had to write a diary everyday for three weeks about my observations and feelings, write a monologue that was my truth about an important moment, or something I want to say to someone but can't, learn and perform a monologue from Shakespeare and write a final report which I did as a self exploration of active listening and presence and their place in a healthcare setting.  It was a bit fluffy, that I can't deny, but actually I really enjoyed it.  I haven't done any amateur dramatic stuff for years, and the sessions were all about trust exercises and team building.  It was good fun, as long as you were happy to look silly for a few hours.  The facilitator encouraged us to try active listening on three people a week, and do some things differently to the way you normally do them - walk on the other side of the road, cross your arms the other way or take your jumper off a different way.  The active listening was pretty good, as I did it at work a lot and some of the conversations I had with the patients I could tell that it really meant a lot to them to have a stranger really listen, and they went away visibly happier.  It was great that such a simple thing could make such a big difference.  It felt like we'd make a deeper connection, and was lovely.  I should stop wittering about my SSU in case you all think I've turned hippy on you.  Anyway, the short story is I haven't posted because after writing a diary every day for three weeks I was all reflected out and I really liked the SSU and think I may have done well in it.

My results came out and I passed all of the competencies.  That was a relief because I was certain I'd failed one of the competencies.  All of them were satisfactory with one excellent for 2 person basic life support.  So now all that's left is one more AMK and my ISCE's which are like OSCE's - lots of competencies all on one day.  *Shiver*

Mr came home!!  He's been away overseas for four months and he finally came home.  We had a lovely couple of weeks doing not a lot and it was awesome.  We did go and see Cabin in the Woods which is an awesome film, I was bouncing up and down for a good few hours after loon grinning and repeating 'Ahhh, that was amazing!', but I am a bit of a Joss Whedon-o-phile.  We went to the christening of my cousins beautiful twins, the funeral of my two up boss at the pensions company - a wonderful, inspirational, kind hearted, legend of a man, cruelly taken much too soon.   We also found and booked our holiday for this year.  I've handed in my resignation for the surgery and confirmed my dates to go back to the pension company in the Summer.

All in all I'm a pretty happy bean, and that concludes the whistle stop tour of my last six weeks.  It sure is good to be back with you all.