Saturday, 16 February 2008

Key Skills...more like Get Rick Quick

Decided that I just make a quick blog today.

I'm working on my key skills folder. For those who aren't aware I have to prove that I am capible of communication, basic maths and other skills demmed appropraite. Forgot the fact I got As and A*s in my GCSE Maths, English, IT and a B in AS Critical Thinking. However talking to my tutor (great girl/woman) I discovered that if I complete my key skills, college get £3000 for government. College is putting the pressure on and have already thrown people out and down graded them to part time for not completing key skills, so no rocking the boat this time.

Anyway, my presentation (communication) is on the Tooke Report. I'm sure most people won't have a clue what I'm on about but it interests me. My main ideas come from the ferret fancier's 7 part coverage. Thanks.

It's actually going nice and slick. Will drop some comments latter and read some books on med interviews.

Friday, 15 February 2008

A Cashier's point of view

Inspired by a great day at work: If you want to annoy your cashier then:
  • Wait till 0'clock or half pass when change overs occur, and then pile two trolley loads onto the belt.
  • Watch me pack while you have no physically disabilitating illness with you arms folded and the occasional groan that I'm not doing it right.
  • Open food/drink IN FRONT of me and then explain that it was like that when you picked it up. I'm not an idiot so don't treat me like one.
  • When on fast track and I ask if you had any problem items, don't point or jester to your child. It's not funny and your not the first to say it.
  • Watch me open bags for you then refuse to admit defeat while you struggle with your own bag. I'm not going to do a dance in your face.
  • I am 17 not 7, so I'm more that aware of what a fake id looks like.
  • Naming members of staff does still not make you 18.
  • Don't scream help under a pile of men when you've just legged it with a crate of beer. You'll look an idiot.
  • Surprisingly I am considering a career in medicine. Don't look so shocked when I say this while handing out Sainsbury's leaflets.
  • Just because I work for Sainsbury's does not mean I will take shit, I am not will I ever be your personal slave. Respect can go both ways and make your day better/worse.
  • It's great that your kid wants to learn how to pay for things but when it's Saturday and I have a massive cue, count the cash out yourself.
  • Everyone wants a bargain, but when I price check, my supervisor checks the shelf and the main computer all say it's £14.99, you will not get it for a tenner!
  • Everyone loves reduced items, you can get the same pizza for £2 less. Unfortunately some like to buy nothing but reduced items. 15 digit codes that generally don't scan. More fun for me.
  • Complain on your phone about staff having conversations while serving you. Maintain a loud conversation as you pay, then try to pay with your Tesco's card. You can then laugh making some reference that you usually shop at the classier Tesco's .
  • Last but not least, buy as many clothes as possible refusing to put them on the belt encase they get dirty. Then expect me to fold them with the hangers still on and place them in a bag without ever touching the belt. Before you go, thank me and say you'll give them a wash when they get home anyway.
*Rant Over*

I do have nice customers, who do make my day. I also have amazing collaegues who've I've never laughed so much with. BTW, my local Sainsbury's banned from 4 pubs/restaurants for staff parties. We are a wild bunch!!!!

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Blogs I Visit Every Day

I don't post much and am a rare find in the mass of comments, but I feel that I should say something to the blogs that I read each day and find great for news on a medical career and it's journey. These are in no particular order:

Unprotected Text - I've read this blog since it started out as COABS. Something about this blog made me stick with it and I'm glad. Harry has always provided great posts and I do love his writing style. He's got a sense of humour that I think I get. A main bonus though is that he has applied and got into the very medschool I deeply considered applying too!! I look forward to reading more about his progress though barts. I hope I'll be there in less than two years time.

Panda Bear - He comes across as someone who is always ready to put forward their belief. Not in a bad way, but as a confident, won't take crap, kinda guy. He is so detailed and helpful in posts, with a strong commitment. His four part series on what it takes to be an emergency resident was great to read and I feel others, even not considering it as a career should have a look. Part 1,2,3 and 4. Although Panda Bear is an MD, I recommend UK people taking a look.

Little Medic - I feel privileged to have been allowed into the Real Little Medic. It's like a cool club for all the med student bloggers and me. I feel like I've got to know him and that he's been kind enough to share possible quite open and deep posts. However what really tips the iceberg for me is the ability to create names for many characters at med school.

Med School Hell - This is the second blog I ever read. It was so honest and more truthful than a media portrayal that I stayed up till 4 in the morning reading every blog from the beginning. That was a year and a bit ago, and I still light up with joy when a post is sent down from my feeds. Thanks Hoover.

Kevin, M.D - I don't know how Kevin has the time but I am very thankful. With up to 15 posts a day I can be finding new blogs every week, and better resourses for medical news. His time and effort is much appreciated so I thought I'd give him a mention on my world class blog ;)

Some may ask why I've done this. Is it because if I continue down this road they'll be my consultant bosses :P? Or is it because they put time and effort into writing detailed and descriptive blogs that should be praised for their work? There are other blogs I would like to praise but do not have the time or space. These are the ones that truely catch my eye and hope always will.

Monday, 11 February 2008

Sunshine Radio

My Local MP supporting the radio!!!

Decided to join a new volunteer project a few weeks ago and looked for something different. I finally choose a project at my local hospital which evolves working on the in-house radio station (Sunshine Radio). Tonight was my first go, and I absolutely enjoyed it.

It was only for two hours but I got to talk to patients and get a few song requests, then head back to the studio and announce them over the radio. It was great and by the end of the evening I was having a real laugh. We played a few radio games and I got to meet the team.

I'm looking forward to next Monday now!!!

Sunday, 10 February 2008

As application time draws ever nearer, I've been deciding on the four uni's I want to visit for open days. Unfortunately that list is not made yet and I have several choices.
  • Barts - I don't no why but I have been drawn to this med school for a long time. Maybe it's the admission forum? Maybe it's Harry from unprotected text? or maybe it's because their student union webste seems more inviting and entertaining than others I've come across. I know it's silly but I'm going to be spending possibly 6 years in the same place, so everything counts. I usually go with my gut
  • Cardiff - Simply because lack or low levels of PBL (use I know barts is lovin' it) and it's far enough away from home to be uni but close enough to pop back for weekends and money ;)
  • Leeds - Apparently it's good...
  • St. Georges - love London, want to go to uni there if I can...
  • Manchester - love the team, love the city, would like to love the uni
  • Peninsula - went to Exeter with Aim Higher, had a blast, loved everything about the uni and want to find out.
I'm swaying towards Barts, Cardiff, Leeds and Manchester but who knows.

I'm going to be paying more attention to blogs by people in the above uni's. Will be commenting more and sending email's so watch out.

Why Be a Doctor over a Nurse?

This is in no way a dig at nurse or any attempt to insult doctors. A question that rises in most interviews which I could be expected to answer one day is "Why do you want to be a doctor?" or "Why a doctor instead of a nurse?". This post will incorporate my feelings and career knowledge so I can answer that question myself. I know I want to be a doctor, but I want to be able to explain it fully and here's my chance.



Above are print screens taken from the NHS website describing the careers of the two areas. To me there is an immediate difference. Nursing is described as a more caring and supporting job, while Doctors are more scientific and diagnostic. Yet I know that many nurses can prescribe, create treatment plans and are independent. Both aim to cure the patient but have different means and procedures. Also Doctors are not just leaders, they are dependent on the team (Nurses and co.) for support and help. It is a group effort.

Many people would beg me not to say these in an interview (People on TSR :P) but I feel they are honest answers to the question. I would of course phrase them differently but money, status and job certainty (in the world not necessarily the UK) are also reasons for medicine. Anyone who is doing it purely to repay the world or help others is kidding themselves. I've done enough work experience and read enough blogs to know this is simply not true. People abuse and use the NHS. Not every patients will want to be saved. You may have a kind heart but unless you are completely dedicated to medicine other reasons must drive.


Update: This is one of the most popular posts on my blog. I assume that it is mainly potential medicine applicants looking at it for ideas for their personal statement and blog. To help my knowledge and yours I thought I would update it with a better understanding.

  • Doctors gain trust very easy in comparison to other caring professions.
  • The combination of an mental challenging job with daily interaction with patients and staff is rare in other roles. While I'm not saying that a nurse's job is not challenging, there is only so much they can progress and even specialised they follow protocols. 
  • Teaching and research play a key role in the job. While nurses are involved in research, it is common for the doctor to take the lead and a nurse be involved in the practical execution. 
  • By studying medicine, you have the choice of being a GP, hospital, surgeon or a lab doctor. This level of variety is not afforded by a career in nursing. This initial training is very general so you can literally do anything. When a patient's management exceeds a specialty, they have this knowledge to rely on. This knowledge is also developed through clinical skills that must be tested by Royal College exams
  • Also doctors are financially rewarded for their work and with clear pay grades that can exceed higher than a nurse.