Hospital Orientation

Good evening colleagues, strangers and friends
this is the Rhyming Med Student blogging again.
Today’s topic? I got to visit a hospital!
What did I do there? Well actually, nothing at all.

From next week we’ll go there to be tutored on clinical stuff
then if our examination skills are considered good enough,
they’ll tick us off as having achieved the requisite skill
to examine an actual person who’s actually ill.

But before we start going there to be taught,
the hospital administration has determined we ought
to be made aware of certain critical information
and the best way to do that’s with another orientation.

I tried to find the venue quickly, but the hospital was a maze.
I wandered through hallways and tried a dozen different ways
in a desperate attempt to get to where I wanted to be
but endless halls and cryptic signs were all I could see.

Eventually I stumbled on the auditorium (more by luck than good sense)
but I was slightly late and worried that I might thereby give offence
to some doctor/presenter who’d hold it against me for the rest of my career
(doctors are good at holding little grudges like that – at least from what I hear)

But it turned out that I needn’t have ran
I still got there before the first speaker took the stand.
On entry, I found most people were just sitting down
or chatting to each other and milling around.

Apparently, the first presentation was indefinitely delayed.
We later found out the speaker had been waylaid
to attend an aquaintance’s unexpected funeral
but no-one had informed the head of our clinical school.

After that everything went reasonably well,
a woman from infection control came to tell
us all about the importance of PPE and hand hygeine
– I have to say she was one of the more nervous speakers that I’ve seen.

Then there were libraries and where they’re located,
which have wireless internet and which are more dated,
opening hours and plans for their future alteration
and where to find most of the electronic workstations.

After that we had the fire safety co-ordinator,
he asked us some questions about fire safety then later
made us watch a compulsory 20 minute DVD
about what to do during a fire emergency.

By this time they’d managed to find a suitable substitute
for the first presenter who they’d lined up to talk with our group.
Most of what she had to say was on the theme of: ‘Don’t pester our consultants!’
which is reasonable advice, but it’s a little harsh to pre-emptively scold us.

Anyway, that’s yet another orientation been and gone.
Like most orientations I’ve seen, it did drag on
now in the interest of avoiding the same fate for this rhyme
I think I’ll finish here and wish you well ’til next time.

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Australia Day Limerick

There once was a student from Oz
who stayed in on Australia Day ‘cos
he left his assignment
to the last moment
and then said ‘Oh, what a loss’

A Day of Practical Labs

Our course kicked off with the PBL and lecture components
but there’s one more element to be added in a moment.
You know what it is, I don’t really have to say.
It’s practical classes! Didn’t the title give it away?

I’ve heard people say ‘when it rains it’ll pour’
and in the case of lab classes I couldn’t agree more.
Today, not one, not two, but three in a row
a large load when all the previous days had zero.

In my previous course, labs were traumatic ordeals
filled with open flames, supervisor’s squeals,
minor acid burns, the kind of places where
strychnine coated benches and ammonia filled the air.

So you can understand that it was with some trepidation
that I anticipated the labs needed to enter my new vocation.
I assumed three in a row would be a severe strain
so when I arrived at uni I was just waiting for the pain.

We had a histology lab to start off the morning.
I expected fiddly microscopes – I thought it was a sure thing.
Imagine how surprised I was when I discovered
that all the required slides were already covered.

Just log on to e-learning (or something) they reckoned
and you can download each slide image in a split second.
I thought that was pretty cool until something went wrong
to stop their website loading. Then it was time to move along.

Lab number two was the heart and circulation
the first half was a lecture and the second an invitation
to observe our tutors manipulate a mock up of circulation
and consider the haemodynamic effect of functional alterations.

The final lab of the day was anatomy with wet samples
(severed legs and hearts in buckets to cite some examples).
They started out by explaining appropriate safety standards
and tried to allay our worries about dealing with cadavers

Then we got to examine a pre-prepared specimen,
one of four we’d look at by the end of the lesson.
I wasn’t really sure about most of what was what
but I acted like I did while I fought for a viewing spot

So today I learnt some important stuff
the most important is that med labs aren’t so rough
(at least so far, they could get worse later on)
but for now I’m just comfortably cruising along.

Review: Vapiano Italian Restaurant

Oggi, ho un’opinione un ristorante italiano
a place in the city operating under the name of ‘Vapiano’
which I went to dine at with some people on Sunday night
and about which I will now proceed to offer my insight.

The front of house staff seemed competent and able.
The ambience was nice with basil plants potted at each table,
in the middle of one they had (what I think) was an olive tree
and the room’s lighting and arrangements were everything you’d hope they’d be.

Vapiano attempts to differentiate itself from all the rest
by utilising local, fresh produce which they claim is the best.
Their pasta is fresh made daily, their herbs are grown right
in the restaurant and nothing travels far (according to their website).

The ordering systems a little different to what we’re used to
instead of ordering from a waiter you have to wait in a queue
then speak to the chef about what you want and whether
they should add extras like chilli or garlic when they mix it all together

I’ll be the first to admit my choice was far from exciting
but I thought the smell of carbonara seemed inviting.
It was mildly interesting to watch them making.
My only criticism is that it could have used more bacon.

I tried a piece of someone’s pizza too,
a vegetarian construction dominated by mushroom.
It lacked cheese so I had some trouble as I ate
with it falling apart. It was tasty but not great.

The only other issue which I’d like to point out
is they don’t have bottles of water which without a doubt
becomes extremely annoying when you must repeatedly pass
across the whole restaurant each time you want to fill your glass.

Value wise, it’s fairly mid-range
inevitably you have to exchange
some of your price expectations for the ingredients and atmosphere
but it’s more or less on par with the average cafés here.

On the whole, it was decent though not my favourite
but if you’re looking for a nice meal then go ahead and try it.
I liked the ambience, the food was average but our
experience there was ok so until next time, ciao…

How I Almost Missed Orientation Day

It was 1:30 am, and throughout the residence
all the students were sleeping judging by the evidence
presented by silent hallways and darkened rooms
except for one – which is how our story resumes

When left alone to my own devices
I’m late to bed and a later riser
which is why a little after 1am that night
I found myself poking around the uni website

I’ll spare all of you the boring detail
but for the first time since enrolling I found student email
I worked out how to log-on (how good am I?)
but then what I saw made me want to cry

They’d sent urgent messages to my personal address
but I hadn’t realised that all of the rest
had been pooling in this account I’d never even known I had
‘Hmm’ I thought, ‘This could be bad’

I scrolled through the messages, giving each a glance
to see if any were important or if by some lucky chance
I’d missed nothing but spam and idle chatter.
Then I finally found one that could really matter:

‘Dear MBBS student, we wish to report to you
that after the deluge and flooding at UQ
we are finally ready to resume normal operation
and in light of this we have rescheduled orientation
to begin on Thursday morning at 8am sharp.’
That’s tommorow morning! I thought with a start

So with just a mere six hours of forewarning
I decided to get some sleep and brace myself for the morning
battle to get out of bed somewhere around six
but at least I knew – otherwise I would have been in a fix.

The orientation itself encompassed all of the standard stuff
lecturers talking about their units and a rough
briefing on the cohort’s future academic progress
as well as the importance of maintaining low stress.

Then our first classes commenced immediately after
(you see as a result of the preceding disaster,
and the havoc it wreaked there had been a great many delays
and now they had to do a week of our tutes in just 2 days)

Anyway, I guess that’s it for now
the end of the story of how
I almost missed my first day back at school
so on that note, goodnight to you all!

Brisbane Floods

Originally I’d intended for this post
to be about my recent holiday up the coast
but today, as is sometimes the case,
I’ve found something more urgent on which to base
my contribution to this blog and its collection of rhyme
(perhaps I’ll write about the holiday later if I get the time).

You see for the past couple of months it’s been raining
and although it seemed that most the water was harmlessly draining
somehow various factors must have come together to comprise
a situation in which the level of our city’s rivers could rise
quickly, dangerously to a near record height
with much of the city underwater by Tuesday night.

I was there during the evacuation of the CBD
right before the banks broke and I was there to see
businesses sandbagging, and the rush to reach
trains and cars before the river could breach.
But people were suprisingly rational despite the worry and drama
(except for one crazy guy on the train who told me the disaster was karma).

The water continued rising throughout the next day.
My family were trapped in an apartment not too far away.
Fortunately they were situated up on the third floor
so the water only made it into the lobby and nothing more.
Personally, my residence is up on high ground
so despite the nearby waters I was safe and sound.

They cut the power, some stores ran out of food
but nonetheless, out on the streets the mood
remained largely positive with the only complaints
gawkers in the way and fears that sewage could taint
the extensive area now comprising Bribane’s newest lakes.
By Thursday they were discussing what the clean up would take.

So now it’s pretty much the end of our city’s flood
everyone’s gone home to wash out the silt and mud
but spare a thought for the rest of our state,
the many areas in which the waters are yet to abate
and those who’ve lost or are missing loved ones
pray for their parents, siblings, daughters and sons.