A glioblastoma is type of cancerous brain tumour.
Despite securing a medical school place the I do still want to continue volunteering at my local hospice which I have been doing for over 2 years now. It has been a very rewarding experience and helped me to develop a lot of skills. Every so often, during my volunteering I meet an interesting patient who makes me think about things a little deeper. So today I would like to share the case of a new patient at the hospice.
Today when I went to the ward I was walking round to make sure all the children were happy and relaxed and I came across a baby who was crying a lot. My first instinct was to go and help calm him down and play with him to relax him. But he was in a separate room which I noticed had a ‘protective isolation’ sign on the door. I knew from my previous experiences that patients can be isolated for one of two reasons: either for their own protection, or to protect other patients from the illness they have if it’s contagious. Upon noticing this, I went and spoke to a nurse about whether I would be appropriate for me to enter the room. It’s very important that within a healthcare setting you understand your role and the level of your competency. I am involved in the caring role, so am not made aware of the patient’s conditions. I also am not qualified to judge whether it would be safe to enter a room where a patient is isolated for their own protection, as well as the procedures on how to do so.
Today during my volunteering I was assigned a baby to take care of whose parents weren’t here yet. I took some toys and engaged the child in play. The baby had a nasal oxygen pipe as well as a foodpipe which brought back memories of my brother who had the same. My experience with my brother was helpful in this instance as when I moved the baby around hi oxygen monitor would start beeping. If I had not been familiar with this equipment I would have panicked and become worried as to why it was beeping, but I knew from experience that when the baby wriggles around, the monitor can unnecessarily beep and it’s nothing to worry about. I was also familiar with the issue of the nasal pipe popping out of the nose which would result in the child not receiving the oxygen he needed, so I made sure every time I noticed it was out I put it back in. Continue reading
Today I just wanted to write about a particular patient I saw on the children’s ward which opened my eyes to the variety of conditions that can actually affect children and how different members of the team can be involved in creating the diagnoses for these conditions. Continue reading
My first day at the children’s ward! I was given a tour around the area as part of my induction. I think I’m really going to love being in this ward as there are so many different jobs I could engage myself in and I definitely like to be really hands on, keeping myself busy. My role includes: tidying toys, cleaning toys, holding group sessions with the children; playing with the children and ultimately making sure that they’re happy by getting them what they want.
One thing about the Urgent Care Centre is that sometimes it is extremely busy and at other times there’s nothing to do. As a volunteer, there’s only a limited number of roles which I am capable of doing. Some of the time I just play an observational role during my time there. I definitely find it worthwhile being able to experience the hospital environment and see how busy each of the members of the team are…it allows me to be able to properly appreciate the roles played by other members of the healthcare team besides doctors like nurses and practioners. During today’s shift there was a 3 month old baby who had been admitted which a lot of the doctors and nurses were concerned about so there was quite a few members of the team taking care of him. There was also a lot of out-of-hours GPs which were working in the department today, more than usual.
The Urgent Care Centre was extremely busy today. Some of the doctors were multitasking and seeing two patients simultaneously. Even after doing this, there was still a problem as all the rooms were soon used up and there wasn’t space for another patient to be seen. I helped to quickly clear some rooms after they had been used so another consultation could take place by washing the dishes and removing any dirty sheets. I also learnt about how the sharps bin is used. At first I was quite surprised by the strict rules regarding it being signed every time a new bin is brought out, or when a bin has become full and can be disposed of and the fact that its contents are incinerated. However, after reflecting on this I came to realise why procedures like this are actually necessary and the damage and illnesses it could cause if somebody was to come across used needles in the normal waste disposal bins. But, my favourite part of today’s shift was when I was able to go and see some patients with a doctor.
This is something that I’ve learnt throughout my volunteering at the hospice. Medicine is career which requires for you to work with many very unwell people, some of which may have debilitating illnesses. As a doctor you must act as the patient’s advisor, but also play a caring role within their treatment. I’ve learnt to recognise the importance of demonstrating a genuine compassion for the patient’s wellbeing and especially in environments like the hospice, showing patience and resilience. Even with my simple role of giving out the meals, I have been able to demonstrate this quality in the way I have waited for each patient to finish eating at their own pace and then coming to clear their food away. Even if a patient is taking a while to finish their food, you shouldn’t constantly keep going and asking whether they’ve finished as this will make them feel uncomfortable. During today’s shift 3 patients passed away and there were many very distressed family members at the hospice. This made me reflect on the importance of taking care for anybody who may be affected by an illness as well as the person suffering from it. It’s very important to show understanding to the emotional impacts of a person dying on their family members as well as demonstrating a sense of resilience in the matter.
Today I carried out lots of little errands in the Urgent Care Centre. I was involved in various parts of the centre and was able to appreciate the variety of roles Medical staff are expected to complete with competence. For all the weeks I have been here, I have not seen the same doctor twice and every doctor I have spoken to has told me that it’s their first or second time in this hospital. From this I have learnt the importance of possessing the skill of being able to adapt to different situations easily. As a doctor you will constantly be expected to work within different teams, in different places and perhaps even in different departments. This idea of variety excites me and it something which I would love to be able to rise to the challenge for.
Medicine is a fast-pacer career. This is something that I’ve learnt with even the simplest of roles of having make a cup of tea for a patient who has asked for one. In the Urgent Care Centre I have to do it quickly, so they can receive it before they are referred to another department. This is also something I was able to observe with a 3 year old girl who came to the Urgent Care Centre. She had been involved in a minor car accident in which nobody was injured. However, following the incident she had been extremely wheezy. When the girl first came in, she was placed on a monitor to check her oxygen saturation levels. They were all normal, but doctor and the nurse practitioner quickly identified that her breathing rate was alarmingly high and she was taking many short breaths. The doctor quickly placed her on a nebuliser to calm her down before transferring her to the Paediatric centre where they would be able to carry out further assessments. I thought it was a really great insight to be able to see how this momentarily panicked situation was managed and controlled so quickly. I also learnt that despite her showing symptoms of asthma, she couldn’t be diagnosed with it yet due to her age, which I found to be quite interesting.
Most of the patients had gone home today as it is Christmas day, so there wasn’t a lot for me to do. However, going to the hospice today has allowed me to reflect on the dedication and commitment to society you must have pledged in order to serve as a doctor. I’ve learnt the true extent as to how practicing Medicine isn’t just a job, but a complete lifestyle. At the hospice, the reception was closed as the administration staff had taken the day off for Christmas . However, the doctors and nurses were still at work, helping the patients and providing for them. Once a doctor, you will always be one…even Christmas Day doesn’t mean you can stop.