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Umar Hanif is a fifth year medical student at Cardiff University School of Medicine and completed one of his placements at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital.
8:30am - Handover.
The team covering the night shift provides an update on all the patients (including any that have been newly admitted). Everyone listens attentively, with jobs for individual patients noted on the printed list. Questions, for seeking clarification, are proposed and subsequently answered. As a student, this usually is an observatory meeting.
9am - Ward round.
The team follows the consultant from patient to patient – this is actually a great time to learn from the doctors with the patients in front of you. I usually arm myself with the ever-trusty stethoscope (in the hope I may be directed to a murmur or perhaps a wheeze). An accompanying notebook and textbook-handbook is probably advised, if you don’t mind carrying things with you (which unfortunately, I don’t really like).
11am - Jobs and seeing patients.
Jobs, which can range from taking bloods to completing forms or re-writing drug charts, are established from the ward round. They are disseminated between the team (probably a good time to browse through the red book of skills to volunteer, before anyone else does, performing the skill that still requires formal clinical assessment). The rest of the morning and early afternoon also gives me the opportunity to seek patients with interesting histories and physical findings to speak to and examine.
13pm - Lunch break.
A chance to grab some food to re-energise for the rest of the day. It’s also an opportunity to speak to some of my friends to see how their mornings have gone!
2pm - Clinic.
This is a great opportunity to sit in with the consultant as he/she sees a wide range of patients. If I’m lucky, I may even be able to see the patients before the consultant. This is probably my favourite part of the day, as the repetitive nature of a clinic really helps reinforce knowledge and practical skills.
4:30pm – Home time.
In reality, no two days are the same. And, I guess, that’s the beauty of medicine. Your week is varied, you’re always learning new things and you never really know what you’ll see from one day to the next.