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Published: June 26th 2018
So I've started on A&E this week. It's quite interesting. The medical conditions are very similar to England, with people coming in with shortness of breath, chest pain, etc. But the department is very different. There are only 6 beds in A&E. So to treat people in this A&E, if they are conscious and probably won't stay the night, they are all put on chairs in a small bay. So this morning the bay had 7 patients. Some were in wheelchairs, some were on oxygen masks. The doctors then talk to and examine the patients right there, in front of all the other patients. And these patients are all sat shoulder to shoulder because there are only 4 chairs. They even take their bloods there. If they need a bit more space or privacy, there is a desk with two chairs in the corridor. It's still very open, and people are constantly walking past, because it's right outside the x-ray department doors. It's really cramped and just no privacy. It makes it seem much busier and more hectic than it really is.
I am able to be a lot more involved on A&E. I'm given a patient, and I take the history and examine them, and present it to the doctor where we discuss it and order investigations. It's a bit weird and uncomfortable examining people in front of everyone else, but I did my best. The other odd part is, is that when the doctor decides what blood tests or images need doing, they'll write them up on the form, and then hand the form to the patient or their next of kin. The patient then has to go to the cashier desk in the hospital to pay for those tests before the order actually gets sent off. This seems crazy to me, because some of these tests are fairly urgent, but they wont do them until you've paid.
The only upside is in here they do wash their hands between patients. But seeing as how all the patients are squished together, coughing on each other anyway, I'm not sure it makes much difference. But I'm getting to be more hands on, which is more fun for me anyway.
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