First of all, I apologise for my absence. The past 4 weeks flew by so fast, I haven’t really had time to do anything at all. Not that I think my absence has actually affected anyone. I guess I’m really apologising to myself because I promised I’d be good and stick to regular blogging. So far that hasn’t happened very well, but hey! I’m trying!
Anyway, the past few weeks have been my first in hospital. Hospital. Allow me to sum it up in one word: Huheughhooherrrhuuh?! Yeah that’s not a word but it does sum it up appropriately. So much changed in such a short time. When I was about to start in hospital, people warned me about the practical problems I would have like not being able to find my team, or not being able to move as part of the team, feeling left out, not knowing what to do, where to stand, etc etc. This left me a bit worried because it sounded a lot like first day of school which is usually not a lot of fun until you make friends and find your classes etc. Fortunately, this was not a problem for me. I was able to find my team and they immediately took me in and gave me things to do like scribing patient notes on ward rounds. Felt like an important part of the team!
However, something I really wished wouldn’t be a problem at hospital, surprisingly was. Mind-blanks. In the weeks before starting hospital I attempted to study a lot of things at once because I didn’t want to be that person that stares blankly when asked a question by their consultant. Plot twist – The only thing worse than not knowing something, is knowing something but not being able to say it. Picture this: Endocrinologist consultant asks you an endocrinology question about diabetes that you’ve read twice, written tests on, discussed with friends but you just can’t remember what the heck it was. You know you know it. So you start off with “Oh it’s….” Big mistake. Because you’ve implied you know what it is and so are expected to complete this sentence in the next 5 seconds. You then try to buy time with “uhhh…” hoping you can recall it in time, but all you’re thinking is “omg I’m blanking, omg they’re waiting, omg this is the longest anyone has not said something!! Not good not good not good!!” And of course that makes you blank more, so in the end, you give up and say “I don’t know, sorry”. Which is then followed by them giving you the “well it’s okay” look with the answer you knew and you mentally killing yourself multiple times in your head. SIGH. I cannot quantify the number of times this happened in the first two weeks of my run. Not. Fun.
But the good news is, it was probably just nervousness, and it has gotten a bit easier to answer questions and there have been fewer mind blanks for me. Hopefully it gets easier.
And every day seems to be overloaded with information that I’m not really sure what to do with. They tell me I should study. But what? Everything?? Apparently, yes. I sort of try to come home and read up on things patients I’ve seen have but it never seems to go in one direction. I end up reading about a million things at once and none of it really sticks. I’m hoping this is just because I’m on my general medicine run and every patient has 50 different issues with them at once that make no sense and half of which the doctors decide to ignore because “mehh it doesn’t fit the diagnosis, let’s just leave it out.” I don’t know about you but this line freaks me out a bit. In my head I’m thinking but it’s a problem!! And we don’t know why it’s there!! Eugh. Maybe I just need to get used to it. Or at least I hope I can.
But the best part about hospital are the patients. What I enjoy most is interacting with patients and helping out with their treatment. Even if it’s the smallest things like asking them how they are or talking to them about their stay in hospital, etc. It’s surprising how much even I seem to affect their lives. I’ve been introduced as the med student and while the doctors and nurses etc. think I’m not that important, the patients seem to want to ask me how things are going and compliment me on the hard work I’m doing and that I’ll help so many people who will be eternally grateful. This seems to give me lots of joy. While I’ve not achieved the things they’ve said, it’s nice to know where it is I’m headed and what sort of things I’ll hear from people. Sounds overly corny right? Helping patients gives me joy!! But I realised it’s actually a bit selfish and self-centred. Makes me feel good that I’m needed. Or will be needed. And I guess I’m okay with that. Don’t judge me too much.
I guess I learnt that every day even though I feel lost and useless and like I don’t know anything, that stuff doesn’t really matter much. Maybe it’s not about being in control and being great at everything, maybe it’s about the little things that get you through the day. Like a compliment from a patient, or helping out a team member, or getting a patient’s veins on the first go for bloods, seeing a cool procedure, or even just having lunch with a friend. This stuff keeps me going. So I’m just gonna try go with le flow.
Many more things have happened and are happening but I won’t spew them all out at once in one blog because it’ll go on for 4 weeks and I have no intention of taking that time out of your lives. So this is all that shall be said for now and hopefully I’m a bit more regular in recounting future events and thoughts…. Hopefully.
I hope the last 4 weeks for all of you have been fabulous!