A Week In The Life Of A Medical Student: Psych Rotation

Friday, 4 May 2018
Hi guys! My last 'Week In The Life' post went down pretty well, so I thought I'd make it a series for this year, highlighting what I get up to in a typical week on each of my different rotations. Unfortunately I can't properly tell you a lot of the interesting and funny stories I have from this rotation, as it would verge on breaking confidentiality. However, I absolutely loved my term in Psych, getting to talk to so many people and hear their story! I'm actually seriously considering it as a future career now which is pretty exciting! So let's get into a week in my life on my Psych rotation.

I'm on the wards this week, meaning I'm following one of the inpatient teams in our hospital Mental Health Unit. Today two of the doctors were away, as we've had so much rain and flooding lately and all the roads have been cut off. That meant it was just myself, the consultant and one of the registrars doing the ward round. It took us almost all morning to do our round, but I didn't mind because it meant I got to see all the patients. All the rain was causing havoc from that perspective too, as we had a few patients ready to be discharged that we couldn't send home as they wouldn't be able to get there!
Today's highlight was when we asked a patient if he knew where he was and he replied "Yeah, i'm in King Tut's tomb!" That was an interesting one to write in the notes...

We officially start at 8AM on this rotation, although the morning meetings don't seem to finish until 8.30, so I usually get a bit of time to do a little bit of study or look over how our patients have been doing overnight before we get started. Our ward round today was pretty long again with one of the team members still not able to get in because of the rain!
Today's highlight was talking to a manic patient who spent most of our consult telling us that he's flawless. I wish I had his confidence, haha!
Our consultant also put me on the spot and asked me to interview a patient for any psychotic symptoms; the patient categorically denied everything I asked her, so that conversation didn't last long haha...

Today wasn't super exciting from the perspective of seeing patients, as there wasn't any new patients under our team. We checked in fairly quickly to see how a couple of them were going, and then there was just lots of admin/paperwork type things to do, which my team doesn't really expect me to help with, no matter how many times I ask! However, I did get a coffee with them today which is always exciting!

Arguably one of the best parts of being a Med student is the coffee. There is very much a coffee culture in Medicine, and the most senior member of the team, usually the consultant, generally buys for everyone else. Which means, as by far the most junior member of the get a lot of free coffees! We have a really cute coffee cart across the road from the hospital that everyone goes to, and the ladies there are super lovely, and somehow remember everyone's name and order. They're wonderful, I'm pretty sure they single handedly keep the hospital running!
Today went in much the similar way as Wednesday, with us only seeing a couple of regular patients in the morning and then my team sending me home about 12.30 as they were just going to be doing desk jobs for the rest of the afternoon. It definitely seems to be the pattern that the ward is pretty busy at the start of the week with new admissions from over the weekend, and then towards the end of the week we have things a lot more under control and get things done a lot more quickly. I used my afternoon off to do some groceries and convinced boyfie to come for a little hike up a hill near us called the Red Arrow. In the evening I cooked dinner for my housemates-a super simple chicken stirfry with lots of veges!

Today was a public holiday for Easter, whoo! I had a really chilled day at home which was super nice. We spent our day having a big sleep in, going out for coffee, organising what we wanted to do over our long weekend and planning a hike for the next morning. What better way to spend a day off, right?!

So that's how my week in the Psych ward went! Being on the wards is one of the quieter areas in the rotation, as they always send me home pretty early. During some of the other weeks of the rotation I've spent time with some of the community teams and they are fairly busy with consults and home visits. All in all I really enjoyed this rotation, and I'm sure I'm going to miss it when I start on Surgery next!

What does a typical week in your life look like? I'd love to know!
Kate x

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