Thursday was a very exciting day at the QEH, as it was the day the new F1 students began shadowing for their placements which began last week. Therefore, after the TSS ward round in the morning, I joined in learning about the computer systems, request forms and how the ward generally runs. the security of the NHS became apparent when I was told every website/system had to have a different password, and each be changed every month.
The systems for looking at blood results, X-rays, booking scans and researching patient histories were all shown to me, alongside the referral forms and blood book. After this, I enjoyed speaking to the two new F1 students on TSS, one of which trained in Malta and the other in Plymouth. It was interesting to hear their views on gap years, reapplying and their own university experiences, as well as the challenges they have faced along the way. I was particularly impressed by one of the students, who I couldn’t help but think I would love to be my own doctor. She always had her eyes on the patients, walking them back to their beds when they got confused and speaking to them when they were obviously bored or distressed. A particular moment was occurred when watching a lumbar puncture, where a (scarily) large needle is inserted between the vertebrae to remove fluid. This fluid also circulated the brain and so can be used to detect small bleeds. The patient was a young woman who was obviously distressed during the procedure. The F1 student brought her tissues and water, reassured her and told her to squeeze her hand through the pain. For me, this was the best and most impressive piece of practice I saw all week – all be it the most simple.
I spent the final part of the afternoon back in endoscopy, watching procedures and learning again about how the equipment (air and water) worked. Seeing how different patients were spoken to and experienced the procedures was interesting, as it was an unpleasant experience for everyone. It was a really interesting and insightful day, surrounded by the excitement of the new F1 students and it definitely confirmed that medicine is the only career I want to undergo!