If you have just stepped into your third year at medical school and are therefore starting with your clinical years, here are just a handy few tips and tricks to help you adapt in a completely new environment.
Get out there and get yourself known
If you are active and enthusiastic, the people on the floor will sense your enthusiasm and will essentially be handing you with new learning opportunities. In the beginning when you get there, you can let the senior nurses know what you want to do or see. Then when the time will come, they will come and find you so that you can participate as well. The same also goes without saying for any of the junior doctors and the consultants. It is great practice to establish good communication with your supervisor.
On your first day of a new placement, you will probably be handed a timetable for the next couple of weeks and there will be some teaching sessions scheduled for you or your group. Make sure that you are clear on where and with whom you will be meeting. Occasionally, someone might not have turned up.
Firstly, wait fifteen minutes. They may be caught up in something and are simply running late, so give them a bit of time.
Even if after fifteen minutes they are still not present, do not straightaway leave! Ask someone, for instance the nurse on the ward or your medical education co-ordinator who was in charge of putting the timetable together. They should be able to contact your ‘teacher’ for you. Make yourself useful to those at the nurse station and ask how you can help. Be proactive!
Increase your exposure
With a few years of experience in basic sciences you are expected to be able to interpret some basic lab results including plain films, CTs, blood results and many others. You will need to try and familiarise yourself with few of these common tests that are requested and what you will need to look out for. If you need additional help MedSmarter is your go to guide to anything medical school related. It is also very important that you really concentrate on is the patient’s drug chart. You will quickly learn which drugs are commonly prescribed, their indications, and the process of administration.
Get help if you are having problems
If you are finding this transition of campus life to placement difficult, you need not suffer in silence. You can come forward to your medical clerkship coordinator to voice your concerns. After all, your welfare is their main priority, so it is sure that they will take time to listen to you. If you are troubled about the clinical aspect, try speaking to the junior doctors on your ward, because they are the ones to have been through this the most recently. When you open up with your peers it will tremendously help you as well because everyone is at the same stage.