So it’s been a long while since I’ve posted on here. Sorry, to my many thousands of adoring fans. Maaaaaay be a bit of a mammoth post.
I don’t think I’ve actually blogged since starting work, so I guess that’s one major thing to talk about! It’s been a long time coming obviously, and despite all the years of thinking ahead to how it was going to, there are ways in which it’s not what I expected it to be. I was fully aware of the fact that as an FY1 you’re not often the person who gets to make all the decisions, and that essentially for a lot of the time you’re a secretary with a medical degree. And that view has kinda panned out to be true: a fair amount of my time is spent doing paperwork. Which is fine, but one thing I didn’t expect that in the hospital I’m in it isn’t really the norm for the medical FY1s to go on the ward rounds and see the patients. Which kinda meant that for the first while my only patient interaction was when taking blood; I wasn’t seeing any kind of clinical decision making, never mind doing any for myself. And this annoyed me if I’m honest as it massively limits your scope for actually learning anything.
Thankfully, they changed the system of how things work in the hospital shortly after I started, and I spoke to a few of the other doctors on my ward about me getting a bit more involved in the ward rounds. As a result of this I’ve managed to get on the ward rounds virtually every day and so am learning a lot more than beforehand which is good!
The ward I’m based on is filled with some really friendly people, which makes a massive difference to the old happiness levels. People in NI anyway are a bit warmer to strangers than in England, but I think on top of that the atmosphere in the hospital/ward is quite an encouraging and welcoming one, so I’ve been quite content.
The bit that’s not being going so well so far is the flipping practical skills. I knew as a medical student that when I started work the thing I would struggle with is putting needles in. It’s something I’ve never been overly happy with how good I am, and despite practice I seemed to improve but never quite be where I wanted to be. Sadly I’m still not there yet. It’s a little bit frustrating because it means that if there’s a list of things to get through, I’m slowed down massively by something that other people could do in five minutes or so, and so it hampers my ability to get other stuff done.
On a different note I’m really enjoying generally being back in Northern Ireland, and I think it was the right thing to do. I’ve been able to see my family much more often than I have previously, and the amount of effort to do it is a million times less! Having a group of friends that are ready-made has also been a god-send, because making plans is so much easier. You can come back from work and go to the cinema/pub/dinner/Matilda night or else have something fun lined up for the weekend with minimal effort, and the medicine chat stays where it belongs: in the hospital! For example, yesterday we went on a Game of Thrones location bus tour, travelling to some of the places where scenes from the TV show have been filmed (I wouldn’t know as I’ve only really read the books)- apart from being accosted by a French TV crew it was great fun.
Oh and before I forget- the last Reason To Be Happy: MY INCOME. While it’s not astronomical it certainly feels like it as it’s more than enough to do me! I still have an awful lot of debts to pay back but it’s just great to not have to worry quite so much about every pound that you spend and being able to eat what you want rather than what’s cheapest. So yeah, smiles all round!