Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Start of second clinical placement

View of front door and lawn through arch of leaves, Leamington Spa
Pictures are again courtesy of my walk around Leamington during a particularly boring stretch of revision last month.

It's now the end of my third day on clinical placement, and the first opportunity I've had to write anything sensible. Lola II came to visit last Friday, we walked around town and went to the Leamington Peace Festival on Saturday, and when she left on Sunday morning I went straight out into the garden and spent the whole day hacking things down, sawing and chopping them up, and filling refuse sacks. I took two carloads to the dump, and then collapsed, exhausted.

My exam results arrived as well, and it's all very good. So that meant that on Monday morning, bright and early, the other new student and I used the stairs or lift to get to the first floor, walked along the corridor as instructed, and pressed the buzzer marked 'Nutrition and Dietetics'. No response. Eventually, someone passing by noticed us waiting outside the door and let us in. It turned out that the incredibly detailed letter omitted to mention that we would be starting at 10 a.m. on the first day.

Garden in front of grand house, Leamington SpaIt's been hard work for a number of reasons. Admittedly it's been quite hot since Sunday, but the temperature in the brand new office is much too high: 25 degrees at 9 a.m. and over 30 degrees by lunchtime. On Monday I dutifully turned up in my new uniform, but without any change of clothes, and it felt as though I was wearing a coat all day. Since then I have followed the example of others, and worn much lighter clothes in the office, saving the uniform for patient contact in the hospital itself.

This new building is separated from the main hospital by a large car park, and we are a short walk away from the town centre. As a 'treat', we walked into town with our mentor and had lunch in town on the first day. There were a couple of problems with this: 1) I was very self conscious and very hot in my uniform, 2) I was wearing shoes that I knew would be OK for moderate walking, but this was a much longer trek than I had anticipated. So not a treat at all, really, and my feet have not yet recovered.

Add to this my aching muscles from a whole day of gardening, plus badminton on Monday night, and the tropical office environment and it's not surprising that I've been completely shattered. My lovely family are also keen to know how things have gone, so I've spent some time talking to Mr A, Lola II and mum and dad, and blogging has had to take a back seat. Tonight is the first time I've felt human enough to do anything but shower and vegetate in the evening.

It's been quite a different experience compared with the Rotherham placement two years ago. Everyone has been helpful and friendly and they all take every opportunity to reassure us that they want us to have a successful placement. I'm not imprisoned in bleak accommodation out of range of all modern communication, nor forced to wear ridiculous clothing. So far, neither my communication methods nor my cooking skills have been criticised. The other student on placement is lovely, and although she is less than half my age and we have few interests in common, I'm finding her very easy to work with.

A grand double-fronted two-storey Regency house in Leamington Spa

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