Sunday, 27 March 2011

Night Shift

There are a couple of frustrating things about being a medical student. Firstly it seems like there are always loads of other students around, so you have to fight to actually get any experience. Secondly, whenever there aren't a whole hoard of students it always ends up that nothing happens so you stand around like a spare part wasting time.

Both of these things annoy me beyond belief.

As one of our sign ups for the term we have to do a night shift. The good thing about nights is that there are definitely less students around. The bad thing is that usually nothing happens and you end up being a spare part, or just kipping in the mess.

Not on my night shift.

It was a surgical night on call with the fy1, he warned me it had otherwise been dull all week. To be honest I was just pleased with the chance to wear scrubs and trainers... ultimate comfort wear.

Somehow (for once...) I ended up lucky.

The evening started off pretty typically. Catching up on the days jobs, mainly chasing blood results. I then got the chance to clerk in and examine a patient. Sounds dull, but I enjoy it. I also got to formulate the management plan and write the drug chart... great practice not only for OSCE but life as an FY1 too.

After that there was a trauma call. A drunk driver in a car crash. Thankfully she'd only hurt herself. Unlucky for her she's fractured some vertebrae, ribs and a limb. Silly silly lady. Things could have been much worse.

We then had a patient who had potentially perforated after an operation. I tried taking bloods with a needle and syringe for the first time, I've always used butterflies. Turns out I was worried about nothing... needle and syringe is easier and faster!

I learnt how to be polite, but assertive with other healthcare professionals, and that giving away mini chocolate bars gets you much further than anything else. I practised all my examinations, history taking, blood taking, ABGs, management plans, writing drug charts and even got to have a go at a catheter.

In fact in 1 night shift I did more than I've done on 3 weeks of day shifts.

I think I'll be doing more nights.

Lily xXx


SaintPara said...

Nights rock. And there is less management and clipboard holders around. This pleases me lots.

. said...

sounds amazing! would make an interesting episode for Junior Doctors, wouldn't it? I can;t wait until the clinical years - only 1st year now. but oh well, we'll get there at some point.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, please keep updating the blog. I love it

Anonymous said...

of course needle and syringe (vacutainer) is easier.. usually the needle bore is narrower too and it can't twist! only problem is no flashback which makes it harder for beginners. I also learnt that many hospitals in NW London deanery have noone below reg level on nights!

Lily said...

I don't like needle and vacutainer, but I love needle and syringe. I tend to use big fat green needles though when I use a syringe, but blue's if I use a butterfly. I guess I just pick up what's easier to find.

Anonymous said...

But needle and syringe falls foul of the infection control nurse...

I once had to squeeze a patient's leg while the SHO tried to bleed him. There were no tourniquets on the ward.