As I’m just about to start the fourth week (of five weeks) of my Trauma and Orthopaedics placement, I thought it would be interesting to create a succinct summary of everything I have learnt and enjoyed over the past three weeks.
- Learning how to scrub in for surgery is an important skill. As someone who hasn’t still completely mastered this skill, I definitely think scrubbing in operation theatres enables you to participate more actively in the surgery being performed or even help when required.
- Taking notes during or immediately after placement hours helps you remember key points and do additional reading on any topics/medical conditions that you have encountered during the day.
- History taking is an essential requirement for medical students and can really be refined with practice. I have found that taking histories from different patients really helps you focus your history more and obtain the most relevant information possible.
- Organisation is key! Tutorials, clinical skill sessions and additional teaching form an integral part of placement. Attending these sessions helps you form a solid foundation for practice-based learning.
- Know sufficient amounts of detail about common conditions. For instance, for my orthopaedic placement, I need to be adequately familiar with neck of femur fractures, carpal tunnel syndrome and other conditions that are frequently encountered in daily practice. A concise textbook, such as the Oxford’s Textbook of Clinical Surgery, really helps ensure you know the most relevant points pertaining to important conditions.