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  • Writer's pictureMegan Pode

Day in the life of a third year medical student

Updated: Jan 31, 2021

As a third year myself I thought a nice start to the blog might be talking through a day in my life. I am currently on a general medicine placement in a district general hospital.

My general medicine ward is currently for COVID patients so the first task of the day is getting changed into scrubs and putting on PPE ready to see patients.

8am Arrive on the ward

Usually at this time it is only nurses and healthcare assistants around so it is nice to help give out the breakfasts, chat to patients and take orders or tea and coffee. I find this is a nice time of the day as you can have a good chat with people and feel a part of the team providing care.

9am Start the ward round

This usually involves reading up on the notes, helping the junior doctor prepare by writing up to date notes and checking recent scans and bloods. We then go and speak to the patient and the Consultant/Registrar asks questions and examines the patients, then makes any reasonable adjustments to their care.

11am Help with tests

Post ward round there tends to be a lot of jobs to do, these include (but are not limited to); taking blood samples, putting cannulas in, sending for scans, urine dips, blood cultures etc. As part of our course we have to get these signed up as competencies so it's really useful practicing post ward round and hopefully getting some signed off.

12pm Lunch

We tend to take an early lunch as often teaching starts at one. I try and bring in packed lunches but sometimes end up hitting up the hospital cafe!

1pm Afternoon teaching

This was a one hour session all about sepsis. We learnt the key presentations, 'red flag' symptoms (things not to miss) and then the next steps to take in their care.

2.30pm Back to the ward to finish off jobs and present histories

a great learning experience can be taking a history, hearing the ins and outs of the patients condition and then reading up on the notes and presenting it to a Doctor. I find the best way to remember any condition is meeting real patients and hearing/seeing/ their symptoms.

4pm Reflections and writing back

If there is time left at the end of the day this is a good chance to write up histories, reflect on any specific experiences, and fill in PPD portfolios before heading home. Learnt the hard way in second year that little bit and often is better than leaving it all till the night before the tutor meeting!

5pm Home time

I definitely think there is a bigger sense of satisfaction as you get to do and see so much in a day. Hopefully some of our colleagues in other years will be able to contribute too!

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