The people you meet in 3rd year on the wards of hospitals are weird and wonderful. Every student is so different and approaches the clinical year in a really unique way. However, there are quite a few people we all tend to see wondering about on the wards, and here they are:
The common room greeter
This guy/girl is always in the student common room. They always seem to have their teaching cancelled, moved or “cut short”. Their consultants normally don’t really turn up and so they are left with a heavy heart and a coffee sitting in the common room waiting for a potential teaching opportunity. Sometimes you will even find them just hanging around waiting for a lift home. They are lovely to have around, always a conversation to be had with them always being in there!
The one that THINKS they should already be a doctor
Oh my gosh, it is really awkward when these ones are around. They think or do actually know more than the F1 (juniors) and everyone knows they do. Sometimes they think they even know more than the consultant. They pitch in with weird and wonderful diagnosis, and normally just get shot down. Sometimes they are praised, but they think they are undervalued and wish they weren’t still in medical school and could just open a private practice already.
The one that can’t work out why they did medicine
You will see them walking around with their ipad in hand, googling potential alternative career paths. They just don’t want to be on the wards and would rather be joining their friends graduating this year into the city.
The DOPS champion
Modern day vampires. I am not even joking when I say there are people that live to take blood. They walk around the wards looking for patients that may need an infusion set up, cannula done or some blood taken. If there is a sign of a catheter needing replaced, don’t you worry, Mr Dops will be there to sort it out.
The one that can’t talk to patients in English
We all have sat the clinical communications exams, but somehow this guy/girl has slipped through the cracks. They just can’t talk to patients at all without the patient getting a bit confused. It is just a mixture of whispers and awkward questions as they stumble through a history. Don’t get me wrong they are sometimes some of the smartest ones in our year- but you can find them word vomiting jargon at the poor patients!!
The 1 hour a day student
These ones are great. They turn up just before lunch, say hi to everyone and eat. Then they stumble to the wards to get some facetime with the team and then just…go home. Probably to sleep again.
The one that you mistook for the doctors shadow
They don’t really do anything but are SO KEEN. From 8am till 6pm they just follow the F1 and consultant around. They don’t normally speak much, they just follow the doctor around. Everywhere.
The lost one
Hospitals are just not made for them. It is way too big and they just seem to lose their sense of navigation every single day. They lose their friends on the same attachment as them, they lose their consultants and teams on ward rounds. You will just find them panting as they are frantically searching for the rest of their team around the hospital. Sometimes though, they might have been abandoned on purpose- especially seen in cases when firms don’t add everyone to the firm WhatsApp group!
The utility belt
These students carry EVERYTHING with them. Don’t worry, if there was ever an emergency on the wards they would be there to sort it. They normally have a bag with them that holds their tendon hammer, ipad, phone, smart watch, cereal bars, orange sticks, pen torch, stethoscope, cotton wool buds, hand gel and a trusty ruler just in case there is a JVP around.
The absent one
It is 10 weeks into your firm and you still haven’t met this person on your firms list. Apparently they are supposed to be at your hospital, but you have never seen or heard of them. Maybe they have been around just examining patients by themselves? Or maybe they have just managed to take off a 10 week holiday and not be noticed. You will probably find them turn up with a tan and a sick note, suuuuuuuuuuure!
The one scouting for a spouse
First week in and everyone realised that the DE’s (the students that join us from Oxbridge) aren’t exactly the spouse material we had hoped for. They all seem to have long term relationships with their best mate from Oxbridge and the rest of them just don’t really have time for a relationship amongst the amount of work they all do!!! So it leaves everyone to scout the junior doctors for potential partners. You may find students texting F1’s for some “teaching”, or playing tinder and setting location to just the radius of the hospital. They really are only keen and in the hospital every day to find their true medical love.
At the end of the day though, we are all medical students and are all on course (hopefully!!!). But it is so funny to see how we all react differently to this clinical environment. 3 years on and we have all changed from the freshers we once were, but we are still miles away from being ready to be doctors.