Hospital Work Experience #2 – Day 2

Well, it’s day 2 of my 2nd hospital placement and I’ve spent the day on 3 different wards. I realise yesterday’s post was quite long, so I’ll try to be brief from now on…

Anyway, the day started off in a surgical ward, and it turned out that I was not the only new one there…the new F1 Doctors take over for their first shifts tomorrow so have been with the old F1’s to learn about their department and to get to know the hospital and their patients before they start. First of all I sat in on a hand over and preparation for the ward round.  This involved talking about each patient which the Consultant Surgeon was in charge of and reviewing any test or scans which had been taken. This particular pre-ward round handover also involved guiding the new F1 Doctors through the computer system so I think it took slightly longer than usual. The majority of the patients were receiving care either pre-op or post-op after major bowel surgery but patients are also admitted to this ward for treatment of acute or chronic gastro-intestinal and abdominal conditions. I have to say though, I did notice that some of the patients on the ward fulfilled none of these “criteria” and when I asked the Consultant Surgeon, he answered that some patients are sent from the medical wards to orthopaedic wards, but then the orthopaedics say that it isn’t an orthopaedic case…so they send the patient to the surgical ward…

We then went on the ward round, talking to the patients and doing observations; due to the increased number of us on the round (because of doubled F1’s), it was slightly crowded, but none of the patients were disturbed by this. I noticed that the ward contained mainly older patients and the vast majority of them had more than one problem. The Consultant Surgeon taking the round said that this makes it more difficult because he has to investigate and review non-surgical problems as well. An important factor during all this is communicating with the patient. In some cases today this was very problematic due to different circumstances such as difficulty speaking, hearing loss and we even had an unresponsive patient- seemingly, she wouldn’t wake up, but she was alive. Obviously this worried us all, so she was sent for a CT scan and we talked to her son about whether this was abnormal behaviour for her (because she could’ve normally been unresponsive in the mornings but then woken of her own accord…or she could’ve just been a very heavy sleeper…).

Anyway, after a very quick (and early) lunch break I headed over to a Gastroenterology ward for a meal time shift.

Gastroenterology:

So, I know that this is a Gastroenterology ward…but it also dealt with a range of acute medical patients such as cardiac, respiratory and diabetes. As previously mentioned, I joined for the lunch shift, so I assisted with the handing out and clearing away of the lunches (which is something I’m used to as I have a waitressing job 😉 ). Some of the patients had to be fed by health care assistants and some slept right through lunch…even though they’d been woken when it arrived…

For specific patients, a chart had to be filled out, citing what they’d eaten and then also how much of it they’d eaten. This is so they can check that the patient is getting the right nutrition and so that if the patient loses weight, the can either put it down to or rule out the possibility that it’s down to the amount that they’ve eaten.

For my final ward of the day, I went to…

Care of the Elderly:

This ward primarily specialises in Acute Stroke Care and (as the title suggests) Elderly Care but also deals with a range of acute medical conditions. By the time I’d arrived, the ward was fairly quiet and the doctors I shadowed were filling out forms and completing patient notes and reviewing scans and tests; obviously, being a doctor includes doing a lot of paper work, which is important for communication with the other healthcare professionals (e.g. the patients GP) so that they know what is being done to the patient and what the next steps are in the patients care plan. Also, I got to see the handover from the current F1’s to the new F1’s, as they were taught how to do all the administration and paperwork and as they were about to take over their duties and patients on the ward. This was actually really interesting and it has made me really excited for the day when I (hopefully) start my first placement myself!

Until tomorrow! Ciao!

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