Calamity averted

As you’ll see from a previous post I realised I’d forgotten my suit on the way to my Durham interview…This led to an interesting scramble the next morning before my early afternoon interview.

I was staying at the Metro Inn just outside of Stockton, it was really cheap, but so so scummy. Apparently up until a couple of years before it had been used regularly by prostitutes and their clients. To be fair though I got a decent night’s sleep and woke at 8 the next morning to get a £5 taxi into Stockton for breakfast and a new suit at their M&S.

I had my breakfast and meandered into the M&S and spent a good ten minutes looking for suits, only to eventually discover that, to my horror, this, the only possibly suit selling shop in town, didn’t sell suits!

I had to call the taxi firm for the third time in 12 hours and ask for a car to the out of town retail estate, which thankfully had a massive M&S and plenty of (expensive !) suits in my size. Half an hour later I was suited and booted and somehow arrived for my interview, with yet another taxi, an hour early 🙂


So, Durham

I’m a little reluctant to write a post on my Durham interview for two reasons.

Firstly, you’re not really supposed to talk about the interview process, the interviews will still be ongoing and I don’t want to disadvantage any who have already had an interview, and I don’t want to be automatically rejected!

Secondly, it didn’t go as perfectly as I’d  envisioned. As anyone can see on Durham’s website there are four different MMI components; I felt that two went okay, one went less well and one was an absolute shocker. Ordinarily I’d feel that I didn’t have a chance, but Durham will make around 190 offers from the 270 interviews, so I rate my chances at 50:50.

The appallingly bad station was also the one found hardest by everyone else I asked, and this is some comfort. But as I was leaving the station I realised I’d left something I thought the next student would need, so I turned back to get it and noticed a 1/5 on my scoresheet 😦

I’ll let you know what happens in March!


I’m on the train to, as yet, my only medical school interview, and I’ve remembered everything 🙂 APART FROM MY BRAND NEW £200 SUIT.

It’s okay though, because it still has all the labels on,  I’ll just have to buy another new one in the morning and return this one.


So, I just got home from work and found this: Med interview email

Gaaaaaaaaaaaaah! How exciting is that?!

So much to do! I need to read up on MMI, I need to get a haircut, I need to buy a new suit, I need to book my train and sort out my accommodation.

I’ve been waiting for this for FIVE YEARS and I’ve been offered an interview at my first attempt! So happy 🙂

Attempting To Broaden My Experience (and earn some extra money)

I’ve been meaning to join my Trust’s bank for months, and this week I’ve finally got round to it. For those who are unfamiliar with temporary staffing in the NHS, staff who want to do extra shifts can join their Trust’s ‘staffbank’ which is large directory of staff who can sign up to cover shifts unfilled throughout the Trust’s hospitals.

I thought that with potentially a med school interview or two on the horizon it would do me good to be able to talk about the role of medical professionals outside of A&E.

I did my first shift today and it was in the Labour ward! I was really excited before I arrived; I thought that I would be able to help out with the cannulation (not of the newborns, just the mothers!) and observations of mother and child, and work closely with the midwives and doctors and pick up knowledge of a speciality very far removed from my A&E experience.

My day was actually incredibly dull and disappointing. The healthcare assistant role on the Labour ward isn’t actually a health or a care role. You’re a cleaner; you mop bloody floors and change bloody sheets after mum and baby have vacated rooms. And that’s it. There’s nothing wrong with being a cleaner, but that wasn’t the role I’d signed up to do. It was mind-numbing and frankly pretty disgusting (which in itself is often a natural part of the HCA role, but when there’s no patient interaction with it, you don’t get that fulfilled feeling inside). When I was coming to the end of my eight hour shift, they asked me if I’d stay on and do a 12.5 hour shift instead – I politely declined. It is a very necessary job, but not one that I would recommend for anyone who is looking to assist with health or care. I’ve cancelled my shift there tomorrow.

I’ve signed up to work a shift in a Cardiac Catheter Lab next week which should be really exciting! Pretty much every patient they see there has had an myocardial infarction of some sort I think, I’m going to give them a ring before I go though because I want to understand what the role entails before I go – I don’t want it to be another experience like today was.

After tax, I probably made £50-60 today, which is worth having, but I could have made it somewhere else where I was actually making a direct difference to the patient experience. I will try not to make this mistake again.

Ingenuity embodied, well almost


Above you can see a colleague of mine holding a bit of an anaesthetic circuit with a pink mask on the end. This was the attempt of an adult only A&E to make a spacer for a child with breathing difficulties who’d initially gone to the wrong place.


Now this (directly above) is what a spacer should look like. And the replacement provided by the adult A&E, apart from making us all laugh, was actually a little dangerous as it gave the impression that the child had had a proper dose of salbutamol when in reality the inhalor hadn’t made a proper seal and the ridges in the tube were probably catching quite a lot of the inhalor.

Anyway, thankfully the kid was fine after a night in hospital 🙂