Showing posts from August, 2013

Last orifices and confused patients

So my first shift this week started with doing the "last clean up" of a dead body. I knew this patient was going to die - I hadn't become particularly close to her, but I had known her briefly and I just wish I could say she went peacefully. The fact is she was in a huge amount of pain, screaming sometimes, and myself and another HCA agreed that she should have been given more pain relief by the nurses, but the nurse didn't believe she could be in that much pain. Rule number 1: the pain is whatever the patient says it is.

Anyway, I went in to see her, to clean her with another HCA and I thought I'd be freaked. I thought I'd feel a bit sick, or get a bit light headed. I barely flinched and I feel like such a cow for it. Me and An just got on with it, removing cannulas, labelling her, wrapping her up, and covering her with the white sheets. It felt like when I used to put my sister to sleep, I used to say "I'm going to make you into a sausage," an…


The real anxiety started the night before. The frantic searches through clearing, the "But if I get X I will go through clearing," and "If I get X what will I do???" The buts and the ifs flooding me for hours. As expected I barely slept, and woke up at 0430. I sat on the UCAS website preparing myself to be ready to go through the process if need be, then woke up my mom when I could not handle it any more at 0500.

She tried to make an edible breakfast while doing her best poker-calm-face. We arrived at college at 0545. We sat in the car for a whole hour, in silence. Eventually, 45 minutes before we were allowed to, I had enough and walked in. They were still sorting the admin stuff out, and told me to wait in the common room.

I sat, iPad ready, iPhones ready, shaking, eyes filled to the brim with tears and nothing had even happened yet. When my vice principal walked in holding the stack, I could have started sobbing there and then. I triple checked I had the clearin…

A really crap shift, 5 day countdown, and reapplying

Sometimes because of both exhaustion, emotions, and hormones (hello mother nature, I am talking to you, thank you for not holding back this month!) it can get a bit too much. Combine that with a really stressful day job, and some ever increasing difficult patients and being short-staffed...well it ain't pretty. I initially wrote a really long post discussing everything that went wrong, but then thought it's not worth it. It's not worth spending so much time lingering on how crappy it was and why; the point is, working as a HCA is challenging in ways you couldn't imagine and it really takes someone to be in the job to know how. Doctors will never get that, and I still feel privileged to be in such a position where I get as much insight as I do.

The other thing that has been niggling at me a while, is - how much is this job helping my application? Yes, I am enjoying it overall (more times than others obviously) but at 8pm on a Friday night, and you've got someones sh…

10 days

till results!! Can't believe how fast the time has gone these past couple of weeks. Mind you, when July started I thought we'd never get here. Feeling more and more jittery about it as the day draws nearer, somehow convincing myself of all the reasons I have missed my grades. I just want it over with more than anything - I'm not even excited any more.

Hopefully though, if I get my grades, I can get back to being excited about reapplying. At the minute, every time I look through the universities' new prospectus for 2014, I feel completely forlorn. Like heartbreakingly so, and I'm not sure why. I'm giving it another shot, you don't know how things might turn out this year, even if I don't get in I'm still going to have a brilliant year.... and yet I just feel so upset whenever I start looking at Universities again.

In the mean time I have been really busy at the hospital. I'm in my 3rd week, and even though I'm still labeled as "supernume…