I haven’t said much about Wished For the Specialist Radiographer who does this treatment as well as the brachyradiotherapy under anaesthetic & the skin cancer treatments too (clever lady). She really has to be amongst Springfield CCs greatest assets! Her professional commitment to her patients’ dignity is clearly paramount & I am unlikely to be the only woman to be eternally grateful for it!
At no point did she suggest or ask for the students or Sous Chef to be permitted to observe the procedure at the sticky end. I hadn’t slept well for a few nights (dreams & pain & lots of peeing). Tuesday night was much the same, except that I spent some time reflecting on this. In common in all teaching hospitals, students are part of the equation & getting the broadest experiences possible on each placement during their education is vital.
I recalled some excruciating times while I was ward-based, when qualified colleagues either admitted or demonstrated that they didn’t know how to do what was being asked of them.
Let’s face it, there’s a bit of a difference between knowing how to lick an “old fashioned” envelope without cutting your tongue & knowing how to run a “drip” through quickly (loving the nail polish!) or when & how to carry out CPR.
I could go on but I won’t.
Generally, these unfortunate colleagues would opine “there were only xx cardiac arrests during my training & there were so many students in the room (this being thankfully a rare occurrence outside of TV medical soap land, so there could be an unseemly jostle to get behind the curtains to observe resuscitation in action) I couldn’t see a thing…”
Nothing beats being able to see & to be talked through what is going on – heaven knows this is the way which most of us learn. Obviously, there are times when this can’t happen for a variety of reasons: “Mum can you tell me how to change a fuse“, “Dad can you tell me how to make my Yorkshire Puddings rise?”, but when it comes to intricate, critical, clinical knowledge it’s best done in the presence of the activity; it’s certainly less scary for all concerned!
So I resolved to tell Wished For on Day 3 that I would be happy for the two female students to come & observe what she was doing. I vaguely said Sous Chef as well, but I am not certain if I was heard or not & in all honesty, nothing personal because he’s a lovely young chap; I’m relieved on reflection that it didn’t happen.
On Day 4, Liffy Spirit (sure you can work this one out!) did just that. She clearly realised that this was a big deal for both of us, checking that I truly was “ok” with it & thanking me for the opportunity to watch. I was so engaged with telling her it was fine that I didn’t hear Wished For warning me that she was ready to insert the Obdurator! I flinched & she quietly reassured me that it was “only (me)”.
Quick as a flash (my two year old brain reverted to it’s true age for a moment), I replied “Oh damn! I thought for a moment it was Liam Neeson” – we all dissolved into giggles & it certainly broke any tension which there might have been in the room!
This was all very well & good but it wasn’t especially helpful – the trouble with laughter is it makes you tense your abdominal muscles.
Let’s just say it’s a good job that there is a way to tighten & keep “Liam” in place… It took about five minutes for me to regain my composure.
After asking who Liam Neeson was, Wished For later informed me that she has lead a very sheltered life. She asked me if my husband knew I had “a thing” for LN, I assured her that he did & that I would be sharing the story with him (which is why I am able to write about it here).
This is so much better than crying.
Having settled down again, all went smoothly & quickly. Off I wobble again & will catch you on Day 5.