Tuesday, 1 September 2009

A day with diarrhoea

Ok, please don't laugh but I volunteered (I know!) to write a daily reflection blog for my team during our Infectious Diseases course. Reflection (related as it is to being wise after the fact) comes quite naturally to me. Alas, just as I suggested I'd do it, our lecturer added that the thing has to be entertaining. ENTERTAING! I masz babo placek, as the polish say.
I tried to make it funny but gave up and submited this instead.

Day 1...

... began innocently enough. Not entirely put off by our foldable beast of a timetable and much invigorated by the promise of a fierce competition, the members of the G team assembled. Not unlike panthers, we sprung to our first challenge: coming up with a name for our team. Two minutes later the matter was settled. We had become the Germbusters. Our other ideas such as Germs and Ghostbusters were also brilliant, but something had to give way...

I think we all made some interesting discoveries today (like where room MSB223 is located, and what Ashby-de-la-Zouch is). We learned how to approach a patient with a potential travel-related illness and that seems like a powerful practical skill to have in your clinical arsenal. Making links such as that between incubation period and the pathogen type felt like a neat piece of detective work. I think it is fair to say we all enjoyed the clinical scenario-based format.

As for organisation and time management I think we did quite well (not letting our inability to remember each others names spoil the fun). We each took on a patient but discussed differentials together, delegated one person to read out the laboratory results to save time and presented each case to the group to open it up for changes/suggestions. Also, our resourceful minds were rightly not put off by the idea that using the internet might be considered cheating.

We even ventured somewhat beyond the task at hand by wondering about possible connections between the cases and questioning the reliability of the printed information. We even got a bit philosophical in a short stimulating digression on what it is that makes Swine Flu so frightening (humans fear what they cannot control).

All in all it was a fun day, even if it did revolve around diarrhoea. As one of my team mates put it "I thought it would be more like getting lots of articles and analysing them, you know? Thank god it's not! (laughs)"

I wanted to finish off with a diarrhoea joke, but failed to find a good (or bad) enough one.


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