Monday morning I joined Dr Doulton on his ward round, lasting around 3 hours. I feel like it put the whole picture together for me. From my day in the lab, to the clinic session that I sat in on, I feel like this joined all the gaps in the process of testing, analysing, diagnosing/ looking at results and then the decided treatment/ next steps for the patients. In total we saw about 10 patients, with varying levels of kidney disease/damage and varying causes.
Overall it was a really good experience, and I enjoyed observing the Doctors at work, seeing how their decisions directly impact the patients. However, as someone who has not been particularly exposed to anything like this before I found it emotionally quite hard. Seeing patients who had been treated and were ready to leave in the next day or so was great and must feel like a great sense of achievement for the Doctors involved. But seeing those whose health had deteriorated or were left with a lesser chance of leaving fit and healthy was hard. One particular patient, the last one I saw, had Vasculitis (a disorder that leads to inflammation and destruction of blood vessels) and had suffered a cardiac arrest the day before. He was still in the intensive care unit, though due to move back down to the kidney ward within a day or so. He was suffering short term memory loss, due to the arrest, and was in a state of slight confusion, understandably. His daughter was there with him. I’ve lived with only my dad since the age of 15 and we have a really close relationship, so to see that situation was really hard. But, admittedly I’m a very emotional person that sort of wears my heart on my sleeve! Nevertheless, dealing with the emotional side of medical care is something that Doctors have to find their own way to cope with and it’s a big part of the job. They do amazing work and without some sort of detachment from the emotions of it all I’m confident they wouldn’t be able to perform as they do. On the whole a good experience and one that will definitely stay with me.
The rest of the week was final collations of the data, which was a bit of a slow process due to awaiting some results from another Hospital. However, we are nearly there and it’s almost ready to be sent to the statistician for analysis.
Whilst waiting on this I’ve begun work on the manuscript as a whole, title page, introduction etc that will become the basis of the paper should it be published. I am also using the data set to do some descriptive statistical analysis that will be used in the results section.