When you've been sat around for a good hour with no request cards, this is your face when a patient appears.
Well, first off, my placement's okay. It's a little boring at times (probably because nobody knows where anything is except the hospitals, chip shop and the Sainsbury's Local) but everyone staying there has become part of the 'Family' (and we've all just been watching 'I'm a Celebrity' together after coming back from our homes). I'm even making an effort at socialising like a normal person, you'll be pleased to know. Completely out of character for a geeky recluse like myself, I know!
Our rooms are a little basic, and we can only use the internet for e-mail and studying (hahahaha)... even though I was sneaky and watched 'Dexter' on Netflix... because otherwise I'd have died of boredom. I'm missing vegetables, so made sure I'd eaten a load this weekend before coming back. The previous week I was surviving on cheap ready meals and noodles, as after placement no-one can be bothered to cook anything real (I mean come on, we're students).
So, what was I doing for my first week? Well, I spent a week in general x-ray... Yes, it can be a little slow, especially in the early morning, when there are no request cards coming through. You find yourself cleaning cassettes, surfaces, your hands, actually reading your textbooks and reading through the hospital policies to fill your time. But just around half nine, requests came flooding in, and the range I got to see was brilliant. Hands, feet, chests, spines, abdomens... everything, really! You see so many examinations, that you begin to memorise the routine and technique. That's when I felt that I wanted to get stuck in and have a go myself.
The hospital I'm based at is really nice and a good environment to be in. The radiographers teach us so much, and love showing us everything and let us have a go while they explain stuff, though one has a penchant for appearing out of nowhere and quizzing us suddenly. Patients are all really nice too when they find out you're a student, but you need to be confident, or they're less than enthusiastic. Some say "keep t'up, love, and you'll be 'reet" (as some people of the North tend to sound like, of course!)
I've done my first two formal x-ray examinations (not just practice ones): both hands at once, then the two thumbs (5 x-rays for one patient), and then two thumb x-rays (for one patient). My supervising radiographer was really pleased and told me to put them in my portfolio straight away. So I'm learning loads really quickly. I'm also now my year group's student rep, so I'm getting loads done involvement-wise, too. I have to go to meetings etc. Some may think I'm biting off more than I can chew... but I do enjoy a good challenge.
The only advice I can give about your first week of placement? Go prepared. Go through some basic positioning techniques, practice talking to patients, be ready to just get involved. Radiographers don't have the time for students who can't be bothered. Make them want to help you!
I'd better get off to bed, I'm in A&E this week, and I'm pretty sure I'll be needing all the sleep I can get!
LLAP and Allons-y!