Reading, Riting, and Radiology

It’s been a while since my last update; my rota has been hectic recently, but for the first time in ages I have two free weekends in a row! Not that I’m complaining of course; it’s very tiring but I really need the money for my birthday holiday.

One thing I seem to be doing a lot of at the moment is teaching, which is really really weird. Trogdor’s is a large teaching hospital and there are only a few weeks of the year when we don’t have students in the department. When I first started there were a handful of third years dotted around, some of whom were extremely competent (which was quite intimidating actually!) so it was nice for me as I was still finding my way around. I wasn’t “given” a student until a few months in which was even better, but the first time I had to “teach” I was super nervous. I was a student myself only recently, so memories of good (and bad) teaching experiences are still fresh in my mind and while I know what kind of teacher I would like to be, it is very dependent on the student. A genuinely enthusiastic student is a pleasure to teach, regardless of current knowledge or ability, but I dread working with someone who would rather be somewhere else as it’s a constant uphill struggle.

The students that I have worked with so far have been a mixed bunch ranging from absolutely excellent, to worryingly deficient, but I think that’s the most I shall say as I know some of them read this blog!

We’ve also had some first year medical students shadowing us this week which has been an interesting experience! Being first years their medical knowledge is very limited so some of them struggled to even point out some basic radiographic anatomy, which is fair enough I guess, but it made their time in radiology somewhat baffling! The department has been fairly quiet as well recently so I couldn’t even show “my student” how to x-ray a patient, so I x-rayed a box of gloves instead! After that I opened the teaching file on PACS and showed them some of the interesting images that the department has accumulated over the years. When that got boring I resorted to showing them things like this:

To infinity and beyond!

Aside from educational endeavours, it’s been an interesting few months; five months to be exact! How time flies… I’ve finished my training rotation (when new people start they are rotated through the different areas such as A&E, fluoroscopy, theatre etc as a shadow so they can become familiar with protocols and equipment before being expected to cope alone) and am well into my shifts. My night shifts so far have been pleasant- busy, but not horrible. I’ve imaged a fair amount of trauma too, which is exactly what was lacking in my student years; down south it’s mostly broken hips and strokes, but here we get more things like stabbings, shootings, car collisons and industrial accidents. Resus can be a very exciting place for someone like me! I’ve seen everything from degloved feet to abdominal stabbings, and one thing that always amazes me is the different reactions from the patients.

One which really sticks in my mind is the lady who had ripped a huge flap of skin about the size of her foot off of her shin. It was down to the bone (hence the x-ray to rule out bony injury) and there was adipose tissue all over the place, but she was so calm and composed. She didn’t even flinch when I removed the dressing that was obscuring her wound, and while I would have screamed the place down if someone lifted my leg to put an imaging cassette beneath it, she laughed and apologised for making a mess! Certainly makes a change from the usual tirade of abuse A&E patients send our way!

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