Saturday, 29 September 2007

End of Week One

The week ended with a flourish - my desire was fulfilled and we actually had one serious teaching lecture, at the QMC Medical School in Nottingham alongside other new students who are medics, physiotherapists, midwives, nurses and pharmacists. But more about that later.

Friday was definitely the busiest day of the week, with various talks starting at 9.30 and hardly a break until 4 o'clock. Some of it wasn't that appropriate to me, but it was interesting to hear how the university has to emphasise a few things that were taken for granted years ago - not just the plagiarism stuff, but the fact that you can't re-take exams until you get the mark you want, like you can at A-level nowadays. To be fair, all this heavy stuff about Academic Offences is balanced by lots of reassurance that there's lots of support provided, and tutors seem very approachable. There's also a great deal of emphasis on the adjustments that can be made for people with disabilities, and how you should always talk to your tutor about 'Extenuating Circumstances', for which there is a standard form to complete.

We had a quick whizz around the library systems, I bought my white lab coat and goggles, and we met all the Nutritional Sciences staff in the lab, who pointed out the most important books. And then off to the QMC to hear about Basic Emergency Care, which is actually First Aid for Health Professionals. Yes, Dietitians are classed as Health Professionals, as we were reminded earlier in the day when we were given out application forms for the enhanced Criminal Records Bureau check. So if you collapse when I'm around, I'm expected to step in and do my best to help you out. My advice is to collapse somewhere else.

The illustrative videos and pictures they showed us were 'interesting' although not necessarily 100% relevant and sometimes just for effect. The snooker ball in the oesophagus and the boxer having his leg broken were particularly difficult to look at - please don't view the YouTube clip if you're squeamish. We saw defibrillation in action (on a dummy), checked each other for a carotid pulse, attempted to clear obstructions by compression of the lungs, and laughed in all the right places at the lecturer's jokes. Actually, he was pretty amusing.

So I survived Fresher's week, and the overall impression is as expected: most students are very young, while some are surprisingly mature, and I'm not the oldest in my group by a long way. Some I've met are slightly annoying, and others seem very congenial, and all female in the 1st year undergraduate Master of Nutrition group so far. I'm really looking forward to the serious stuff starting next week!

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