søndag den 7. juli 2013

The final countdown.

The day is finally here...my very last night here in Eastbourne. Now I have an intense day of packing a head of me, I reckon there will be tears and frustrated sounds coming from my room throughout today. It's a day that I've dreaded, but also looked forward to, because it meant that I was close to going home.

So now the question is really; "to leave or not to leave any shoes behind?"


fredag den 5. juli 2013

At the end of the road.

I cannot believe that I've already been here three months, well, technically my three month anniversary is tomorrow, but today I finished my internship at Eastbourne District General Hospital. Some weeks flew by, while other just stood still - it's been an enriching experience, despite a few bumps in the road, but that is to be expected. 

I feel a wee-bit empty at the moment, I still cannot believe it's over and done with, something that has been so important to me, and something that's always been on my mind...now I can reminisce about it and be reliefed that I made it. That I did it! 

I've seen so many different procedures, got to spend time with specialist nurses and just broaden my horizone. I've honed my communiciation skills, and my clinical practice. I feel very fortunate to have been a member of the staff on Hailsham 4 and on CCU, both wards have been amazing and I've learnt a lot.

One can argue that working only three days one week and two days the other week, would give me a lot of spare time. Well, it has to some extent - but until you have actually worked 12 hour shifts...three days in a row, you don't get to argue at all! I really cannot recommend 12 hour shifts, it's very irresponsible and unlikely that one can stay at his/hers a-game for 12 hours. I think it's easier to "burn out" when you work 12 hour shifts, rather than the 8 hour shifts that I've grown accustomed to back home.

Soon I go home and the question "Wasn't it just awesome?" will arise...and I can honestly say that it was and has been an awesome experience, one that I wouldn't want to be without. You learn a great deal about yourself...all the things you thought you had figured out about your character both professional and personal will be shaken up a bit. It's difficulte to explain what it's like to just put down roots in a comepletely foreign country, where there's only you and your travel buddy, you're really on your own...but that shouldn't be perceived as an obstacle, it'll give you tools and prepare you for similar events in the future.

So my advice is to do it! It's a leap of faith, but most things in life are - the outcome will be amazing and you'll experience so much, in the end it's all worth it, and you can always look back and say that you've done something that was so amazing that it stuck with you forever.

Those were my final words of wisdom - I will make one final blog post, but it's safe to say, that it will be different from this one, seeing that it will be done, not because it's mandetory, but because I feel like it, or I don't really feel like it, but you catch my drift! ;)


tirsdag den 25. juni 2013

Cardiac Rehab Workout - who needs to exercise after this?

Last Wednesday I got the pleasure of spending time with one of the cardiac rehab nurses, who not only taught me about the diversity in this particular field, but also let me participate with the patients at their weekly workout at the hospital gym.

Cardiac rehabilitaion is offered to a specifc group that involves, people who have cardiac history. This includes MI's, heart failure, post angioplasty, post CABG, post TAVI, post ICD and stable angina, I know there're lot of fancy abbreviations, but if I were to spell 'em out for you, you wouldn't learn anything and besides, google exists for this very purpose!
There are workouts four times a week, split into two categories. There's exercise with moderate intensity twice a week, this is for the "better" patients, they might be slightly younger that you'd expect for people with cardiac history - these are more or so fit enough to endure one hour of moderate intensity exercise. Then there's the low intensity exercise group, which is also twice a week, and the average age in this group would be around 75-80. This was on of the groups that I got the pleasure of participating in.

So I show up for my appointment with the nurse, dressed in scrubs, because I simply couldn't be bothered with putting on actual and comfortable workout clothes. The room is near the physio department, and it's basically one big gym room with everything apart from a treadmill. There are only two ladies in this class, the rest are male. Each of them get a belt that monitors and records their heart rates, and they get their BP's done prior to the exercises. They all have a target heart rate, that they should try to aim for, while they exercise. 
They have a card attached to their clothes that tells them which exercises, they are to do and in what order to do them in. The music is put on and the whistle goes of - now you have two minutes to do whatever is written on your card, then the whistle will sound and then you move on to the next exercise for two minutes, and so forth. I also got a card of my own, my card was identic to one of the other participants, who was this 80 year old gentleman, with whom I bonded with instantly. We would actually compete against each other or so he would say, especially when we did the walking exercise. He'd also refuse to start the exercises until he'd heard the whistle, to preserve his strenght he said, but we both knew better.
So there I was, doing cardiac rehab workout and actually having so much fun, being the semi-old age of 22, I actually broke out a sweat, this was obviously because I was chatting with my old chap and not because I'm slightly out of shape! ;)


tirsdag den 11. juni 2013

ECG's are my life.

So I'm halfway through my internship on CCU, in three weeks I will have to depart with Cardiology, which has grown on me even more.
I've already seen so many procedures, I've worked in recovery and I've spend time with the cardiac triage nurse. So I'll definitely be able to take a whole lot with me from this amazing experience, which it truely has been on CCU.

My mentor is only a few years older than me, and we're getting along just fine. Apart from the double-team care that we provide, we also find the time to gush and lush over a certain actor from a TV show that we're both obsessed with. However, it's not just fun and giggles all the time, she also finds the time to grill me on ECG's (that's what you get for mouthing off that you already know how to read 'em bloody things!) and teach me different arrhythmias, such as The Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome - you have to look this one up, despite this condition being very serious if it presents itself, it is one heck of a cool syndrome.
I'm so going to be a brain trust on ECG's.

I have yet to follow other specialist nurses, but I still have time for that and more importantly my mentor makes me take the time in order to see as much as possible.
I hope that the following three weeks will be equally as amazing and eduactional as the prior weeks have been. I'm sure I will be grilled more intensively and I look forward to that, especially if one of the subjects is previously mentioned actor and his fab abs.


søndag den 2. juni 2013

First week after the swap - cliff notes version.

So I've done my first week at the medical ward...I usually make the three dots for dramatic effect and trust me, they're very much needed in this particular post. I was supposed to stay at a medical ward that primarily dealt with cardiac patients, however, my second day in - I was transferred to a Coronary Care Unit, which is only for cardiac patients. To my teacher, who definitely will be reading this, I swear I was not the problem, I did nothing wrong! To the rest of you, suffice to say that the horror stories I'd heard were far more livid than I thought. I will not get into what the problem or actually this should be in plural, since there were multiple problems was/were, since that would be pointless, so I would just say that I'm ecstatic with this transfer and I cannot wait to really throw myself at cardiology and the hunky doctors!

I've spent two days at the CCU and I'm loving it! I've seen several different procedures already and I feel like this could turn into the bestest experience ever! So far I've seen a PCI operation, loop recorders being inserted, several pacemaker operations, one bi-ventricular defibrilator  inserted, one Angio operation and "a live one", which is having a patient brought up to the ward, who was in the middle of a heart attack, so that the PCI was urgent, they don't call them "live ones", I do, they call them "primaries". That particular procedure was amazing, because the other ones are elective, but this one - he came in, they had to clear the schedule and get in there and fix the problem quickly. The patient was a young man, in his early 50s - the surprising part was that he didn't look as if he was in the middle of a heart attack, apparently having a heart attack becomes you. After the doctors managed to evacuate the clot, they showed it to me - they actually used the word "big" to describe it, which it wasn't - not to me, but if you imagine the smaller arteries that are usually very narrow, then I guess that this particular clot could be described as being a big one...

I'm excited to see what the following weeks will bring, hopefully a lot of educational experiences and a lot of very advanced procedures, that in the end will help me to put into words what exactly I've gained from my going abroad. I mean, they already told me that they wanted to hire me, so I got of to a great start, eh? Let the good times roll, and how about that bottle of Dom Perignon, I think it's long overdue!


søndag den 26. maj 2013

Bye surgical ward - hello medical ward.

I've been here for almost two months, and I am now half way through this exchange - times flies, when you're having fun, even if you're not actually having it. If someone were to ask me, what I've learnt so far, I'd have trouble answering a question like that, because to be frank, I'm not sure what exactly I've learnt, but if you were to ask me this very same question in a few weeks, I'd probably be able to give you a decent and credible answer. But for now, let's just reminisce about the past six weeks...

I finished my internship at the surgical ward that I was at, and I can honestly say that I'm sad that I have to transfer to a different ward. One could argue that I was only being sad, because of the horrible things I've heard about the other ward, but that's not the case. I actually felt like part of the team on my ward, granted some days were longer (well, they weren't longer, but felt like it for sure!) than others, but all in all, I had a real good time at my ward. 
It almost feels like an act, because I got raving reviews of my performance at the ward by my mentor, who was the one stuck with me. Apparently I was humble, very caring, kind, attentive and embracing and open-minded towards the differences and didn't let them stop me into leaping (diving head in first!) into situations that were unfamiliar to me - I know, eh? Fooled her good! ;)

On Tuesday I start another six weeks at a medical ward, mainly dealing with cardiac patients. This could turn out to be a good experience, seeing that I actually did a ten week internship at a cardiology ward back home. So I should have an advantage, albeit that can also bite my in the arse and maybe make me even more narrow-minded than I already am, because I have a good grasp of patients with these types of problem. I guess only time will tell if it's one or the other, or maybe even a mixture of both? I know I'm excited and a bit scared to start there, because of the horro stories, but hey, I'll bring my flash light and pepper spray, that ought to hold the monsters at bay, right?


lørdag den 18. maj 2013

Terms of endearment - overload.

One of the many things that I've now grown accoustum to is the frequent usage of these so-called terms of endearment. Now it hasn't been easy, let me tell you, and to be quite honest I'm not sure that I'm as okay with it as I come across.
People, very random people, call you things like, "sweetheart", "love", "darling", "dear" and the list goes on. Maybe it's a cultural thing, or I can most definitely say that it's a cultural thing, but can you really address a stranger like that? Well, the answer should be quite obvious, otherwise this post would be redundant...

It's one thing that the staff and the patients on the ward speak to you like that, because after these past five weeks, I feel like I've gotten to know them, probably not well enough to actually want to be called these names, but what can you do? They all mean well, and it makes it easier to digest, it'll probably give me an ulcer later on. But when the person behind the cash register in Sainsbury's calls you one of those things... I mean, there's only so much a person can take! I just want to take my cucumber and hit him on the head with it! It's really uncalled for! I think the reason that I keep objecting to all these terms of endearment (which are harmless, most of the time anyway!) is that I've been behind the cash register and never in my life have I called a customer anything remotely similar - that's crossing a line!
Also it would make sense when an elderly or a person older than yourself calls you something like that, but when a younger person adds terms of endearment into a conversation with an elderly person or someone older, then it comes of as disrespect to me. I mean, I can hardly imagine me saying "love" to a random elderly person, it just seems so wrong on so many levels. Again I'm inclined to blame this on my semi-Danish upbringing.

Alas there's nothing I can do, it's not like I can make a scene each time or maybe I could? If I did, then I'd probably need someone to bail me out eventually! And it's not like my name is easy to pronounce over here, and in retro spect, maybe "love", "dear" and "darling" are way better than "Zeeeniiia" and "Zena", at least my name doesn't get butchered, when people opt for the terms of endearment.

So instead of saying the famous line from Moby Dick, "Call me Ishmael", I will just have to settle with, "Call me love"...but when you do, I'd be on the look out for that cucumber!