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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Tips for medical students: Packing the survival kit

This is the standard survival kit for medical students:
1. Stethescope

2. Notebook and pen

3. Pocket sized textbook aka
external brain

4. White coat (optional, doubles as pillow or blanket.)

To be considered an exceptional medical student, this is what the survival kit contains:
1. Sweeties/Chocolates - to be used as bribery and emergency rations

2. Spare change amounting to at least £2 - for the out-of-hours coffee, crisps and sandwiches machines. Saves you crying in despair when you realise the canteen is shut and the machines don't accept notes.

3. Disposable Gloves - For those moments when the consultant suddenly asks you to feel for a femoral pulse in the unwashed groin of a recently incontinent patient, and you are ten metres away from the nearest glove box. Also useful for making balloons to entertain the paeds patients and as an impromptu tourniquet for all your phlebotomy needs.

4. Hand Cream - if you've been following the strict infection control policy, then you will need this. You can also use it to ingratiate yourself with the nurses.

5. Small Rare Items (7): Neuro-pins, safety pins, cotton wool balls, tongue depressor, pen torch, indelible marker, tube of Aquagel

Consultants will occasionally get the notion to hold an impromptu teaching session and will want these random things. However, these items are not always readily available on the wards (because doctors hardly use them) and are so small that they are hard to find on a moment's notice.

Instead of spending half an hour searching for these objects during a ward round, just put a few in your pocket when you come across them on your meanderings through the hospital (of course, ask the nurse-in-charge first, don't just go around nicking stuff!). Then, when the consultant has another one of his brilliant ideas for Student Education, you can whip them out of your pocket Doraemon-style and then bask in the awe of your classmates.

However, these items should all fit comfortably into one pocket of your white coat. If you need to carry a utility belt in order to store all of your rare items, then you are trying too hard. This is not the Legend of Zelda. Leave the Master Sword, the Pegasus shoes and Pendant of Courage at home.

Here's an example of trying too hard, courtesy of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Class of 2006.

(thanks to angry doc for the link!)


Blogger angry doc said...

Here's a video demo...

7:56 pm  
Blogger tscd said...

angry doc: Nice one. I shall add it to the post!

3:41 am  

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