Kindly wrench your head from the gutter in which it is presently residing. If you were reading this in the hopes of unearthing cringe-worthy and embarrassing moments of adolescent discovery then I should let you know that this is not that type of post! 😜
My First Time: Clinic Edition💉
- The first time I took a history (Day 1 of clinic duty) and did everything wrong. I went from asking my patient about her allergies and immediately after asking about her sexual history. I was so frazzled and nervous.
- The first time I examined a patient (Day 1 of clinic duty) and did everything wrong. The patient came in with a septic foot and I did every other examination except that of the septic foot!
- The first time I presented a patient to a consultant (Day 1 of clinic duty) and, surprise surprise, did everything wrong!
- The first time I saw a stab wound on someone’s head. The skull, I’ve come to discover, is a glorified helmet.
- The first time I took blood from an actual patient with real blood. Not an arm in the skills lab filled with red dye.
My group was stationed a few kilometres from our medical school in an area known as the Cape Flats. Two days prior to the start of our clinical service, two security guards (grown men) were stabbed by a pregnant woman at the very community health centre that we were to be stationed. We were obviously on high alert before we had even begun !😱
Luckily, nothing of that sort happened while we were there. Everyone was really friendly and helpful. The only vaguely weird/creepy/scary event was when a male patient attempted to stroke my hair. The first time I moved away from reach before he could touch me and the second time I told him that I would call security.
For each patient that we saw we had to:
- Take a full history
- Do a general and focused examination
- Diagnose the patient thereafter
- Come up with a treatment and management plan
- Compile a list differential diagnoses and their treatments
- Do health promotion and advocacy
- Identify ethical dilemmas in the patient’s context.
- Present all of this to the doctor and hope that he would agree
The ethical dilemmas were quite interesting. There were multiple cases where patients with minor impairments sought out disability grants. Another case was regarding the ethics of giving contraception to underage teenage girls who were sexually active. The area that we were in has a very high rate of teenage pregnancy and refusing to give them contraception could potentially increase the risk of pregnancy and increase the burden on families that are already socioeconomically burdened.
My case presentation skills were non-existent prior to the start of the rotation but at the end, I could confidently present without making fatal errors. I also identified a lot of knowledge gaps and I guess it’s my responsibility to fill them now.
I am sooooooooooo excited for surgery! I wait in anticipation for the long nights, being on call, assisting (even if it’s holding up a leg or something), studying furiously and coming home late. I am most excited for abdominal surgery and trauma – I’ve actually started to “re-learn” some of my GIT work so that I can contribute meaningfully when we start. Two weeks left! 😁😁😁
Current Module: Neurosciences 2
Lots of Lily Love ❤ ❤ (LOLL)