It's been another one of those whirlwind weeks that I think are basically going to be the theme of my current obs & gynae placement. So with very little time to get up to much else, this seems like the perfect week to write a 'Day in the Life' post. I've wanted to write one for ages, but actually I don't have such thing as a 'typical' day and so it's really hard to choose I day I think best represents what I get up to. So here's just one example of a day in my life from this week...
This is one of those early starts placements, and today I'm up at 6am to prepare for the day. I could probably get up later, but I like being able to take my time about getting ready (which by the way is one of my top tips for making mornings easier). I like to either have the radio or the news on my iPad in the morning - it's my way of staying up-to-date with what's going on in the world.
I always have breakfast before going into the hospital - I can spend a lot of time on my feet, there's not always much time to stop and snack, and if I'm going to be going into theatre the last thing I want is to suddenly feel faint! I vary my breakfasts a lot and today I'm having a bowl of fruit and nuts, orange juice and a coffee.
I leave the house and make the 30 minute walk to the hospital I'm currently placed at. It's much easier leaving early when it's sunny outside already!
Today I'll be shadowing doctors on the central delivery suite (labour ward), so I head there and find the changing rooms. I change into scrubs and I'm provided with a very fetching pair of orange clogs to wear. I also meet the other medical student I'm with today - it's always helpful to have a familiar face when we're constantly spending time in different parts of the hospital.
I make my way to the staff room on the ward and meet the doctors and midwives who are on shift today. At 8 o'clock the night team doctors hand over to the day team, letting them know about the events overnight and updating them on the patients who are in.
I join the ward round, going with the team to see any of the women who need input from the doctors, finding out what's happened so far and listening to what plans are made for continuing with their care. After the ward round the team splits up and so I go with the consultant to see a couple of patients and discuss their symptoms and management.
There are some elective C-sections this morning and the obstetricians invite me to come and watch one. I meet the woman and check that she's happy for me to be present during her operation - happily she says yes and so I get to watch the procedure. I don't usually like spending time in theatre, I much prefer when I get to chat to patients and I find operations hard to follow, but even I can understand what's going on when the baby is lifted out! I love watching the parents at this point - especially the dads with their camera phones capturing photos of the moment their child is born. I stay in theatre while the obstetricians stitch the incision closed and they talk me through the operation so that I learn from it.
I go back to the delivery suite and follow the doctors there again, attending a crash call and the review of a couple of patients. During any downtime I also make sure to have something to eat and drink and write some notes in my logbook and portfolio - both will be checked at the end of the placement so I need to keep them up to date with what I'm actually doing!
The ward gets very quiet and my scheduled shift is due to end so I get changed out of my scrubs and head off to a sunny spot nearby to eat what's left of my lunch - having already eaten most of it while sitting in the staff room with some of the doctors.
It's then back to the hospital ready for an afternoon of teaching on some of the important topics in obs & gynae. Three and half hours of teaching on a Friday afternoon isn't especially fun, but it has to be done - especially as exams are looming on the horizon... It is however made a lot better by the leftover free food from a lunchtime conference that just finished!
I get home and catch up with a couple of housemates who are in. We're all on different placements so it's nice to find out what everyone else has been up to. Ordinarily I'd also do a little bit of work in the early evening, but this has been such a long week that I know I just need a night off. I have a couple of emails to deal with, and then spend the rest of the evening reading magazines, watching Netflix and eating dinner before heading to bed and looking forward to not having an alarm go off in the morning!