Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Stage: Consciously incompetent.

I will not be surprised if a patient decides to shout at me or hurl a filled vomit bowl at my direction one day. I mean, if I am feeling sick as hell, confused, half deaf, half blind, half naked, hungry and old, the last thing I want to experience is having an utterly dumb medical student, who has no idea what she is doing, to repeatedly stab my arm with a needle, while 'attempting' to take my blood but ended up with nothing so the nurse has to stab me again.

It's my second week in the ward now. I am still very happy to be part of the 'student doctor' team! Unlike the pre-clinical years, I am experiencing completely new, unique things every day and I am meeting new people every single day! When I wake up in the morning, I have no idea who I will meet and what I will see in the hospital, but I am excited to be there and to learn.

The thing is, I am also slightly frustrated at the moment. If you know the 'conscious competency' learning model, I am currently at the consciously incompetent mode.  (When I was told pre-clinical students are unconsciously incompetent, I didn't believe it. But it's probably true.) 

For instance, when I listen to a heart, I know it's abnormal, but I can't tell what's wrong with it. Then I learned that any heart sound that you hear aside from the 'lub-dub' is a murmur. So I spent ages trying to figure out what kind of murmur that is, but I still have no idea where on earth does it come from or whether it's a stenosis or a regurgitation. I feel even worse when my patient starts quizzing me what murmurs does he has when he knew his diagnosis. What a joke. (If I manage to make the patients feel better this way, good then. At least, I am somewhat useful. :/ ) 

Even frustrating is the fact that I can't remember much from my pre-clinical years. All the anatomy, all the pharmacology, all out of the window. There are instances that I recognise a drug name, but have no idea what does it do; there are instances when I don't even remember seeing that word before! Eg. I don't remember reading about 'brachiocephalic veins' until I re-read my notes from first year this morning. (Apparently, they are pretty damn huge and important veins, which obviously everyone knows) So much for doing the most expensive anatomy course in the world...

It's almost like I have complete amnesia sometime during the past 3 years that I almost have no recollection whatsoever that I learnt those stuffs before! Or probs, due to the concussion i had on my head a month ago...hmmm

I have to learn the millions of new stuffs out there while trying to remember the millions of facts from the past. Not that I don't want to learn them. The fact is, I really hope I know all of those things now. I really hope that I will be as capable and as smart as the qualified doctors now. I really hope I am that bit more competent now so I can be useful on the ward and actually help my patients, instead of doing practice examinations on them when they should be resting. No wonder many of them wants to charge us students for each examination we do on them (I can assure you they are joking). 

I really don't mind spending that bit more time to learn, if that's what it takes to get me there.
Oh brain, work please. 

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