So, Medical School.
It's been nearly two weeks since I got my ID card, locker and dissection room coat and I am so happy that I went down this particular trouser leg of time (sorry for borrowing your analogy, Mr Pratchett).
My course graduate-only and consequently it is a broad church; people from all walks of life (I'm not the only nurse!) and with lots of different reasons behind wanting to study medicine. I think for a lot of people it is a personal challenge, which is nice because I think it means they will be very engaged with the course.
The structure is very much oriented to Problem-Based Learning (PBL). We have a session for a few hours on a Monday morning where we are given our case, then we discuss the issues that arise from it and any learning objectives that we think are relevant to the case.
And then we turn on the fire hose.
I have never had such fun leafing through books in a library and learning. My knowledge-base from nursing has given me a bit of a leg up, I suspect, but this is just learning turned up to 11. I have spent every day this week buried in books and journal articles chasing learning objectives arising from the acute abdomen and I love it. And after the intro bumf of last week, it's nice to kick things into high gear and get learning.
Some of it however is covering old ground - a BLS session that I could have done with my eyes closed, even down to calling out "CAN I HAVE SOME HELP PLEASE?!" in a crowded room (something that always makes me feel stupid). But this is to be expected. One of the most exciting bits of the course for me is finding out where my knowledge ends and where the new material I am expected to learn begins.
The hospital my medical school is attached to has its own nursing bank so I have applied to work there, money being unsurprisingly tight and I want to keep my hand in, too. Nursing has given me a lot in terms of supporting knowledge for medical school and I hope it continues to do so for the next few years. As part of the application process I had to take an entrance exam - drug calculations and a scenario-based "answer of best fit" MCQ section. Happily I scored 100% on it, so I guess I've not got that rusty in the past couple of months I've been off work.
Perhaps the most surprising discovery for me is that I think I have found the soundtrack to my independent study - Trance. I am an indie kid at heart and wouldn't have listened to dance music if you paid me previous to this, but trance is the music I can study to surprisingly well. And it means if I get bored in the library I can, quite legitimately, start throwing shapes in the church of dance. Or something.