Last Friday I had the amazing opportunity to attend the Warwick MB ChB Education conference, where all of the staff involved in education at the Medical School attend and share ideas. I was there presenting a poster I had been involved in with a third-year medical student and one of the faculty who teaches on the course. We were presenting a method of teaching professionalism to medical students and the poster was well received by the attendees, with lots of interest in our work. It was quite surreal to be at a conference with all the people who are usually teaching me, but everyone was very welcoming to the students who were there and keen to hear our ideas about how teaching on the course could be improved. There were also lots of new ideas about how to innovate in teaching medical students, which as a student who is very keen on being involved in teaching, were of great interest to me as to how I could improve my own teaching skills. For example, one of the anatomy teachers was showing us a method called “Do It, draw it”, which is about using visual cues such as drawing structures and ideas and acting them out as an aid to remembering them. I found this fascinating as an idea for how to teach complex ideas to students and is something I will try when I next get the chance to teach. Overall, the conference really helped confirm for me that I want to be very involved in medical education as I progress throughout my career and has given me some practical ideas as to how to improve my own teaching skills.
This week my clinical partner and I had our first shift on a labour ward, which also happened to also be my first ever night shift! It was slightly surreal turning up to hospital at 7:30pm, to get changed into scrubs and meet our assigned midwife for the evening. This shift gave us an introduction to childbirth, and we were attached to a midwife who took us through the labouring process. The time went quicker than I expected, although I did start to flag at about 4am (nothing a bagel and sweets couldn’t sort). In the end I managed to see a natural birth and assisted delivery (where the doctors help mum in getting the baby out). I was hugely thankful to the mums I was able to be with at such a stressful time. It was a very special experience (albeit tense and dramatic at times) and I loved forming a bond with the mums, willing them on and reassuring them throughout the process. Both births ended well, with two perfectly formed babies, and I even got a chance to cuddle one of them for a while whilst mum got some rest (call me Uncle Jordan). I was exhausted by the time 8am came around, having been awake for a straight 24 hours in total, but it was totally worth it for the experience.
I managed to get some rest on Friday, and then Saturday I was up nice and early again to head down to London. In the summer, I help out as a first aider at festivals, which is a great way to gain clinical experience (and also get paid to help buy all of those coffees which are a necessity as a medical student). While I’m there, I basically just help out with people who have accidents or are taken unwell at the festival. The company I work for creates a really supportive atmosphere, with senior nurses, paramedics and doctors on hand to help out with any patients you aren’t 100% sure with, so it is a great way to cut your clinical teeth and work the diagnostic muscles. I saw some pretty nasty trauma cases and injuries, as well as a fair share of people who had just had a bit much to drink! I’m sure it will be great experience when I come to my A+E placements in third year. Having had a great weekend with more than a few interesting cases, I ended up getting home at 1am Monday morning, ready to sleep and then start the week afresh. No rest for the wicked!