2nd week of surgery done thank christ

The remainder of last week was fairly uneventful. I had work on Wednesday, went to see a nephrectomy on Thursday morning and left swiftly avoiding waiting for teaching I wasn't convinced was happening. Joke is on me though as it did happen and apparently it was very good.

As the pressure gets higher to revise, the more disinterested I am in actually being present at some of the teaching sessions we're having. Last weeks case was CKD and while I'm sure the themed case discussion was very good, the lights were on but no-one was home for me. I then managed to somehow go out and socialise all weekend and do no work and then bang. It's Wednesday, I've got a million things to sign off and work to attend in the evening!

This week is my penultimate week of placement and indeed my blocks. Surgery placement hasn't been particularly thrilling thus far, i've found most of the seniors very difficult to approach and they haven't seemed particularly welcoming. I don't think I will be back in a rush. Saying that, i've found the FY1's an absolute delight, eager to teach and get involved and very patient with me. This has been a blessing.

This being the penultimate week of all 5 of our blocks also means we need to make sure we have all of our "Assessed Procedural Skills" and been taught our "Developing procedural skills" signed off. It gets a bit shady now, because you must be signed off by FY2 or higher. So the idea is, for example, I need to be signed off for doing an MRSA swab. Who does swabs? Nurses. So, I can go and ask who needs them doing, they'll point me in their direction. What I then technically need is to be supervised by an FY2 or senior doing it in the correct way.

In reality, there seems to be no FY2's or higher and then it's just scary consultant level. You wouldn't believe how difficult it has been to get something so simple signed off. You would think, for the love of christ, on a surgery ward, there would be an abundance of MSU's and swabs that need doing?? Turns out, I've got the worst timing in the world or something because i've never been successful. So the sort of thing that goes on instead is, I stand outside the Doctors Mess (little trick I learnt today - need to find a doctor that isn't rushed off their feet doing a million things, too busy to glance your way? Go and loiter outside the mess, and eventually find the balls to ask if they wouldn't mind giving you a quick bit of teaching / sign off) find a FY2+, say look - i've been looking for 3 hours, can I just explain to you exactly how I would take a swab from you and you sign me off on it?

I have 3 remaining to do. 2 of them are pharmaceutical skills (which I really should have done a long, long time ago) and one of them is doing Obs. Something I did 36 times a day as a HCA and I haven't bothered doing once this year despite needing to be signed off for it. Damn, I will be lucky if I manage to find an FY2 willing to watch me perform patient obs on a patient that doesn't even need it.

Also - formative assessment results tomorrow. The medical school have already sent an e-mail saying that data interpretation and prescribing were the worst stations. Shock, not.

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