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.
The doctor I was with was very nice. He asked the patient a few questions in order to get a general idea of what the problem was. He then went to fill out the paperwork and quizzed me about certain details from the consultation. I was definitely able to appreciate my listening skills as I was able to recall everything the patient had said. This made me reflect on the importance of possessing this skill, as the patient relay of their symptoms and feelings is incredibly important for a doctor to consider before conducting a physical examination.
The doctor then went to attend to another patient who needed to have her bloods taken. He tried to get a good circulation of blood in her left arm and then attempted to insert the needle. However, her became swollen very quickly and he was unable to put the needle in again. He asked me to stay in the room and apply pressure to her arm so it would stop bleeding and he’d be able to finish his other patient and come back to collect the bloods. Whilst, I sat in the room I had a really lovely conversation with the patient. At first I just spoke her asking about what brought her in and how she was feeling. I even tried to use the ICE model on her! After a while she started telling me things about her family and generally about her home life. I really appreciated this opportunity to be able to engage with a patient at such a level as it made me realise the extent to which I really love being able listen to people. I could tell that the patient was grateful for the company. Unfortunately, when the doctor did return, my shift had ended so I had to leave and couldn’t see how her treatment went, but I wished her well anyway and I left feeling a sense of victory within myself of being able to even make this one patient feel comfortable and happy.