June 17, 2016, by studentcontributor
A Day in Anaesthetics
Hey everyone, it’s Ella and I have just finished my fourth year! Whilst in 4th year, students get the opportunity to choose a month long placement in an area they are interested in – this is known as the Student Selected Module (SSM). There are lots and lots of potential placements (think a 50+ page document) and it really is up to you on what you choose. Options are very varied from cardiothoracic surgery to paediatric nephrology. You could even learn languages if you choose to take a French, Arabic or British Sign Language module.
I was interested in anything fast paced so I decided to choose Anaesthetics for my SSM. Anaesthetists are the doctors who administer anaesthetic to a patient before an operation and they also make sure that the patient remains safe during the operation controlling things like their blood pressure and making sure that the patient does not feel any pain throughout the whole thing. During my placement, I spent most of my time in theatres, observing operations and learning how anaesthetics and other medications used in the theatre work. I was able to observe lots of different operations, from a small child getting their tonsils out to an elderly person who needed to have a hip replacement, to someone having brain surgery!
As well as theatre, I got to spend some time in the Intensive Care Unit, where I observed how the most critical patients were looked after. I also got to spend some time on call – where we would go to any emergency in the hospital that needed an anaesthetist – usually to help stabilize a patient. During this time, I got to go to A+E resus and watch how the trauma team work together when someone comes in after a big accident – think 24 hours in A&E!
I thoroughly enjoyed my time in anaesthetics and would definitely recommend anyone to try it out and see if they like it! Student selected modules like these are a really good opportunity for students to try out a specialty to see if they like it, or have a go at something completely new that hasn’t been covered in the curriculum yet. You could even get involved in a research project or an audit during your SSM if you really enjoy the topic. You could then present this in a conference or a meeting at a later date which would not only be a great experience to have, but by getting involved you’d be improving your research skills too!
Anesthesiology is a great medical field specialty to get involved with! Lots of opportunities.
Remember that these patients are fellow humans with emotions, passions, families, personalities, and intelligence. They just aren’t sick “cases” that you have to solve so you can go home. Remember that one day you will also be in their shoes – age, sickness, and death escapes no one.