End of Paediatrics and the SJT
The last two weeks have been very busy. Firstly I have been completing the last couple of weeks of my Child Health/Paediatrics block. I have seen a couple of interesting things. One of my days I spent observing and helping with the NIPE checks. NIPE stands for Newborn Infant Physical Examination and this is a general health check completed on newborn babies, and the first is done within 72 hours of birth and the second check is done at 6 weeks of age by their GP/family doctor. I was observing the first check which is usually done in hospital and often done my midwives or junior doctors. The check is an all-round physical for the baby and looks at things such as oxygen saturations, reflexes, movement, whether they have a heart murmur, and looking for any birth defects. Essentially the check aims to find any issues which may impact on the health of the baby and the ability of the baby to cope when they go home. I enjoyed helping with the checks and seeing some very cute babies, and learned some interesting and important things which the check looks for. One of the coolest things I learned was about the reflexes that babies have to help them survive – one of these reflexes is one which you may know about, and that is the grasping reflex where if you offer a baby your finger, they automatically hold on to your finger. I find it amazing that these reflexes are present from birth and without the baby having to learn anything.
This week I have also been booking my Situational Judgement Test (SJT). I have spoken about the SJT on my blog before, but just to recap, it is a really important test that final year medical students sit and the score that you get gives you a score. If you have a higher score, you are more likely to get the Foundation doctor job that you want. You also have to get a decent score to get any doctor job at all! This year the test has changed, as it used to be sat at Medical Schools but this year we have to go to a test centre. This is similar to the UCAT/UKCAT which some of you may have sat or be aiming to sit soon. The SJT has questions which cover ethical and practical dilemmas and then your answer is how you would respond to these dilemmas. I have booked my test for mid-December to try and get it out of the way so that I can concentrate on finals when I return from the Christmas holiday. I am nervous about this test but also it is a tricky one to revise for. I am generally quite good at the type of thinking that the test is looking for, which I think is courtesy of my History degree days. Hopefully I do okay on the test.
Overall, I have found the Child Health block challenging for all sort of reasons, including just how many things there are to do, and anticipation of finals just around the corner. My next block is Care of the Medical Patient which is a block which covers lots of different areas, all concerning general medical patients. These patients suffer from heart issues, respiratory issues, brain and nerve problems and also gastrointestinal problems. I think it will be a really useful block for recapping and building on my existing knowledge and building a wide knowledge base before finals. In addition, I am heading back to George Eliot Hospital which I had a good experience at in my first and second years of med school and hopefully it’s a productive block!