Friday, 4 November 2011

Oh, come on!

So, here I am half-way through my plastic surgery placement and loving it.

It took a bit of time to get started, but mainly because I didn't play to my strengths enough and was a bit of a wallflower.

No longer.

I'm getting on well with the team and it's nice to be getting stuck in with history taking, wound washout and dressing, bleeding and cannulating like a mo' fo' and seeing some fascinating cases.

I've really been boning up on my theory, too. I can talk on the difference between an FDP versus and FDS injury, the need for aggressive management of necrotising fasciitis (or "nec fash" as we say in plastics :P), the implications of loss of sensation of different digits or why surgery is so much better than medicine (I'm still not entirely sold on that argument...)

Sitting with the consultant in his clinic still generates existential dread, though. I'm not sure that ever changes, to be fair, as I have seen SHOs and SpRs with an expression I recognise - the "oh god, I have no idea" face. I thought I was doing okay on my last clinic... Only to have One Of Those Questions come up:

Mr Hand: "What test am I asking the patient to perform?"
(the patient is making the familiar "inverted prayer" I know is Phalen's test)
Me: "Phalen's test"
Mr Hand: "And what is the positive Phalen's sign?"
Me: (silently sighing with relief) "Pain or tingling in the hands"
Mr Hand: "And when did Phalen write his paper on this test?"
Me: (OMFGWTFBBQ) "No idea, sorry"

I almost laughed because I thought he was being hyperbolic. Turns out, not so much.


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