I finally did my first venepuncture on a patient (albeit with considerable help from a very friendly healthcare professional)! I had always been slightly intimidated by the thought of taking blood from an actual patient (as opposed to models), but I have now realised that this is a skill that can only be perfected with practice. As every patient is different, with a spectrum of veins ranging from conspicuous, protruding veins to the more elusive, thready ones, taking blood from multiple patients can only help you become more familiar with the anatomy and customise your technique for every patient.
I have also reaffirmed my predilection for the gastrointestinal system over the past two weeks, as I am now on my General Surgery Placement. The sheer intellectual challenge associated with forming multiple differential diagnoses for an acute abdomen or left-sided abdominal tenderness really appeals to me. Patients rarely embody textbook representations of disease, yet classic signs such as jaundice and abdominal distension are invaluable in coming up with a potential diagnosis for the patient. Seeing patients has really enabled me to think more broadly about what the possible differential diagnoses could be (for instance, a gynaecological history might be essential in female patients presenting with abdominal tenderness).