Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Getting hands on

Mr. McGuire: I just want to say one word to you. Just one word. 
Benjamin: Yes, sir. 
Mr. McGuire: Are you listening? 
Benjamin: Yes, I am. 
Mr. McGuire: Plastics. 
Benjamin: Exactly how do you mean? 

So we've had six weeks of PBL tutorials, statistics and communications seminars and clinical skills sessions and now, like so many baby birds, we're being let lose from the nest lecture theatre to fend for ourselves. For a bit.

My first rotation is 6 weeks of plastic surgery, allegedly with a hand specialist. Which carries all manner of silent terrors for me as I find the anatomy of the hand and forearm crazy complicated. And being in a theatre gives me all kinds of opportunity to fail to observe some anachronistic aspect of human interaction and get bawled out for my troubles.

But the upside is I have a fair bit of post-surgical HDU nursing experience and know the general tone of surgical ward life. And in many ways my current form was birthed on the wards of an NHS hospital. I don't mean that in a creepy "buffalo bill" kind of way (well, maybe a little bit...), but who I am now is very much the product of having lived and worked in the healthcare environment for quite some time. I hope I can fit back into the pace of things like a hand in a glove. No pun intended.

And then there is the undeniable fact that surgeons are the people who reach into the very living flesh of another person and fix them. This is something incredible to be sure. I can understand where the idea that surgeons sometimes see themselves as gods might come from - If you can make someone better with your hands and bit of know-how, you could forgive yourself for being changed from the experience, too. I look forward to seeing the fixing happen first hand (again, no pun intended) and to find out how the life of surgeon actually works, when they're not writing up post-op fluids or taking down dressings at 9am (don't get me started...)

I don't know if I am a surgeon (though I have nursing friends who promise to disown me if I become one!) or a medic, and to be honest, I don't know if it's relevant for me to wonder this without more experiences to form an opinion. To pass the first year without resit or hinderance showed me I can do this, that I am med student (hear me roar!). What I make of my opportunities and experiences waits to be seen, I guess!

PS There will be Malta pictures, once Flickr stops being in a strop with me.

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