Tuesday, 29 October 2013

GAMSAT IS OVER! (For now...)

It's been far too long since I've written anything on here; and I apologise for that.

It's just, you see, I've been a little busy with all the GAMSAT malarky. But it's over now! And I feel a bit strange... Relieved yet worried. 

I sat GAMSAT at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre in Sheffield. It's really near the train station; so my walk (which made me feel like a dead woman walking...) was relatively quick. My admission ticket said to be there for 8:15, and like the Square that I am, I got there at 8:14.

The queue to the Sports Hall was MASSIVE. I was quite surprised that there were so many people sitting the exam. The Sports Hall was full; and they had to put people in two separate meeting rooms in addition to this.

The Sports Hall at Ponds Forge

One thing I learned very quickly is that there's a lot of bureaucracy surrounding the exam. Lots of talking about rules etc. You also (and I didn't know this before) have to keep your admission ticket and ID on your desk throughout the exam.

And you get a rather nice stamp on your hand; which reads: 'Inspected'. Nice. It took thoroughly washing my hands sporadically throughout the day and having a bath before bed to just about get rid of it.


I can't really tell you that much about the content of the exam because we were kind of sworn to secrecy... I can tell you though, that I had questions about medical ethics and organic chemistry in abundance.

As you probably already know, the exam is split into three different parts:

Section I - Reasoning in the Humanities and Social Sciences,

Section II - Written Communication,

Section III - Reasoning in the Biological and Physical Sciences.

Section I is an hour and a half, Section II an hour (You have to write two essays in that time frame) and Section III is a whopping three hours long!

You get an hour's lunch break between Sections II and III; and, like me, most people chose to go outside and get a little fresh air. In fact, one poor lady had what looked like a panic attack outside the doors because of the sheer strain of the exam.

This is not the aforementioned poor lady...

I was fine during Section I - which leads me to think I did quite badly. Usually the better I think I performed in an exam; the worse my grade ends up being.

I'll admit that I panicked quite a bit during Section II - I prepared for this section in the wrong way. I read lots of newspapers; books relating to Social Sciences and the like; but I didn't practice the writing side of things enough. So, my mind went a bit blank and I started to panic; but I recovered and rambled on about a load of rubbish; which also leads me to presume that I won't do all that well...

Section III on the other hand ended up being a bit of guesswork in parts. I did what Griffiths' GAMSAT Review suggests and guessed 'C' (apparently, there's ever so slightly more chance of guessing correctly if you choose the answer that's 'C'). There were things I recognized and a lot of things that threw me a little. I'm not holding my breath.

At the end of the day, all I did was my best. I was so nervous about Section III that I did consider scarpering during the lunch break; but I would have been so disappointed with myself if I had. It's not my style to abandon things before I succeed; I'm too stubborn like that.

Results are out at the 'end of November'. Oh I love how elusive ACER are.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

To The Person...

...Who ended up on my blog after Googling: 'Old men dirty sex',

Thank you.

You have given me a proper giggle!

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

It's Here!

Just a quick post to show you what arrived this morning!

It's official! I'm on the NHS Organ Donor Register.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Organ Donation

Today I did something important; something that I'd been thinking about doing for a long time, but never really had the guts to do: I finally got round to joining the NHS Organ Donor Register.

There's been a huge upsurge recently in the number of people signing up to it; because of publicity and media campaigns, which is fantastic news. But, there are still so many people who don't even want to think about it.

The reason that people avoid joining it, are, I assume, the same as my own reason for delaying joining it for so long: It forces you to face up to your own mortality.

I'm 21. I don't want to have to think about dying. It scares me to think that I could leave the house one morning and never return.

However, one of the main reasons that swayed my opinion is that if I were ill and needed a transplant; I'd expect it. You can't expect a gift from someone if you aren't willing to sacrifice the same if needed, surely?

I don't like it when people get all 'preachy', so I'll spare you that. I'm just saying, we all only have a limited amount of time to live, and, unfortunately, for some of us, that time is more limited than we'd like to think. Accidents happen, acute illnesses occur and sometimes our lives end prematurely. 

Giving someone who's gravely ill the gift of life from beyond the grave is one of the greatest gifts you can give, isn't it?

For as long as I can remember, my Dad's carried an organ donor card. I can even remember him trying to explain it to me when I was an inquisitive young child. Without people willing to give their organs up for donation, there wouldn't be pioneering advances in transplant surgery and there most certainly wouldn't be people here now without them.

If you'd like to join the register, or find out more, go to: http://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/
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Friday, 12 April 2013

Urgh NHS Jobs

I'm sure you will have guessed from the title that I'm talking about the NHS Jobs website.

I seem to have spent endless hours on this website over the past year. (Albeit less frequently recently).

As an aside, I haven't applied for any jobs for about a month now, and it's been wonderful!

If you're not familiar with the website; it's basically where people (existing NHS Employees or the rest of us mere mortals) can apply for jobs within the NHS.

I've lost count of the number of jobs that I've applied to through this website. I'm grateful for its ease, but sometimes it's infuriating.

I have the daily job email from them; where they send me an email every evening with the new jobs in my area that have been advertised. Yesterday, there was an advert for two new Receptionists to work at my local ED. It said that the deadline was the 22nd April and that potential applicants would benefit from an informal visit, so should email or call the relevant people (blah, blah, blah...)

So, I thought: 'Oh, I'll email tomorrow'.

I don't normally go for these informal visits, but this job advert genuinely interested me.

Low and behold, I checked again this evening to get the email address of the contact when I see:


The bumholes.

This isn't the first time NHS Jobs have done this. It's so annoying!! You're forced into applying for jobs that you really want immediately because you're worried that they'll be taken down by the next time you check.

Now I appreciate the employers might well have an unexpectedly large number of candidates applying, but surely doing this is a bit... mean?

Tuesday, 2 April 2013


Hmmm. Today's been a bit of a crap day to be honest.

Four hours sleep. Then I spent half the afternoon sitting on my bum in front of the fire whilst eating cornflakes and watching comedy on TV to try and alleviate my bad mood.

I went on a wild goose chase too. All around the city to get my Mum an iPad. (She was paying, I was just picking it up for her...)

When I got home, I still felt crap: bad mood, hungry, tired, fed-up etc. I could go on (but shan't for fear of boring you all to death...)

Whilst on my wild goose chase, I picked up some pick and mix. First time I've had it in about ten years. That seems to be helping keep me a little cheerier; that and copious cups of coffee.

I had a really good weekend. A family wedding on Saturday and then drinks with my friends on Sunday evening. I had a laugh for an entire two days (back-to-back) for the first time in ages. It was wonderful.

Then today, I came back to earth with a big bump: I received two job rejections. GAMSAT revision is also looming but I seem to be so bad at self-discipline at the moment, I've hardly done anything recently. It's ridiculous. I need to give myself a big kick up the backside; except I don't know how.

Boy and best friend problems also don't help my mood. Why can't everything just be a bit more simple for once?

Still, tomorrow's another day and I've still got about three quarters of a bag of pick and mix to wade through. So it's not all bad... ;)

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Best Friend Dilemma.

The clue's in the title really.

I've known my best friend for ten and a half years. I thought that we'd be friends until we were bitter old ladies, sat next to each other in a Nursing Home knitting away and putting the world to rights. However, that's not really the case any more.

For the past few months she's been constantly ignoring me, making excuses not to see me and just generally not being a very good friend.

She spent the majority of last year unemployed after leaving college. I tried to support her then and she pushed me away. I knew she was struggling but she just didn't want my help. I was doing my finals and she was trying to occupy herself by applying for an endless stream of jobs. She got there in the end and has been working full time for the past few months.

She's an incredibly difficult person to know and to get through to. She won't listen and when she really needs a friend, she pushes everyone except close family members away.

I'm the only person that she's regularly in touch with from school. She's disowned the rest of our mutual friends. She says that she can't be bothered with them because they've made no effort with her. They have, she just didn't realise... Or care.

I'm not going to lie, these past few months have been really tough. I've felt so down for such a prolonged period of time and the only people who've consistently been there for me are my parents.

When I think about how little she's supported me, my initial thought is that I'm just being selfish for expecting her support. She just doesn't realise how other people feel and she's definitely unreceptive to the emotions of others. I feel cruel for even saying that. I haven't seen her properly since last year. I didn't even get a Christmas card. She got a Christmas card and presents before Christmas from me. 

She texted me a few weeks ago to tell me that she was ill. I texted her the next day asking if she was feeling better. She ignored me. So after three days I began to get a little worried. I popped round to see how she was (bearing in mind she lives two minutes walk away from my house), and she couldn't wait to get rid of me. She didn't invite me in and blamed me for her dog wetting itself with excitement because I'd turned up unannounced.

I know our friendship has never been a conventional one, but I do at least expect to get a reply to a text within a week. Something that frequently doesn't happen. I'm losing patience with her. 

I honestly don't know what to do. In my heart of hearts, I feel like our friendship is nothing but a chore to her. I'm a burden to her like I am to many others. And best friends shouldn't make you feel like that, should they?

I can't help who I am and how I am. I can't change to a great extent to fit the needs and wants of other people. And to be honest, if being an unemployed loser for the past ten months has taught me anything, it's that I need to stop trying to please others and focus on making myself happier.

What do I do? Accept that she probably just doesn't want to be friends? Keep on fighting a futile battle? Get on with life and focus on other friends? I honestly don't know. Ten years of friendship would go down the toilet if I were to just walk away; but it's as though she doesn't want me in her life anyway.

We're both only children and there's sometimes a battle of wills when it comes to who's going to get their own way. When we were younger, I never used to give in, but nowadays, she tends to get her way. She deliberately makes me feel bad when there's a threat that she's not going to get her own way. For example, on my birthday a couple of years ago, the two of us went to London. I wanted to go on the London Eye because it's something I hadn't done before. She, however, didn't want to because she'd been on it once before with a relative. She said to me: 

"We can go on it if you really want to, but I really don't want to. If you do though, I suppose I'll go along with it..."

What can I say to that? "Yes I'll force you onto the London Eye against your own will and consequently never hear the end of it..." So, no, I gave in and we didn't go on it. She got her way and I've still never been on the London Eye... 

Recently if I've asked if she's free on a certain day, she'll just ignore my messages. So now I don't generally broach the subject of meeting up. I invited her out for drinks with some other friends over the weekend; she declined my offer.  It's just easier to leave her alone than it is to be ignored or rejected.

I asked her yesterday when she might be next free. She's ignored me. She's been on Facebook today, but she hasn't replied to my message; because I'm evidently a hindrance to her...

It makes me feel like I'm being needy. I'm not though, am I? For wanting the girl who's supposed to be my best friend to just reply to my messages every now and again?

I couldn't resist.

Apologies for this incredibly boring, self-deprecating and insecure post, but it's quite cathartic to write it all out... 
It's really just been a huge excuse for me to use an array of cute pictures. Sorry...

Night Nurse

No, this isn't about the cough medicine...

My next door neighbour pretty much disgusts me when he has casual 'relationship' after casual 'relationship' with poor women he scours for in local pubs whilst off his face on an array of strong ales.

Just recently he's had a particular lady over for 'intercourse of a sexual variety' (for the past four weekends out of five). She was even round this Monday but left yesterday morning. In fact, she's back again right now. 

Let's put it this way, not a lot of sleeping goes on.

They had an argument a couple of weekends back when she dared to go outside in front of the neighbours who reside across the road... And now I think I know why...

The lady who lives across the road is a nurse at our local major hospital. So was his 'girlfriend' until recently.

I was reading the news yesterday; when I found an article relating to a nurse who'd been struck off the NMC register because of 'unacceptable behaviour'. This is his girlfriend. The nurse across the road will probably have heard of her and he is clearly ashamed of being seen with her... Poor girl.

Basically, whilst working, she stole a prescription pad, fraudulently collected drugs from the pharmacy on the behalf of patients in her care and stole 200ml of Oramorph from the ward she worked on.

She then took ALL of the Oramorph in one evening and proceeded to go into work the next day; still under the influence, needless to say.

When one of her patients raised the alarm, a colleague found her slumped across the nurses' station fast asleep...

As bad as this is, I do kind of feel sorry for her.

She must have an long-standing addiction to and high tolerance of opiates if she could take that much in one go without going into respiratory arrest, surely?

She was struck off the NMC register earlier this month and that's fair enough because if she was allowed to continue her work as a nurse, it would raise serious concerns and potentially bring the profession and the NMC into disrepute.

She's obviously got problems and she needs to work through those, but she can't be allowed to care for vulnerable patients if she's been so dishonest in the past. At least not until she's healthier.

And as if her life hasn't been bad enough recently, she's now involved with him! Poor woman.

Thursday, 7 March 2013


That's really the only word to describe life at the moment. Yes, I'm moaning because my life's hectic, but I guarantee I'd be moaning a Hell of a lot more if it wasn't.

We're in the process of moving house. The 'rents are divided on this. Mum desperately wants to; Dad definitely doesn't. I don't want to either (but my opinion's a bit insignificant; I'm just a 'kid' after all...)
We had an estate agent visit this morning to make an evaluation. Dad and I were hoping that he wouldn't recommend a high asking price, but it turns out it's £99,000 more than it was bought for twelve years ago: Music to my Mother's ears...

I stayed up until 6am this morning tidying my tip of a bedroom. After filling an entire wardrobe to capacity, three chests of drawers and five boxes full of clothes; it could be said that I've got too much stuff... I was up again at half past nine; feeling deflated before I even got out of bed. 

It's not just the house that's causing stress. My car's currently in the garage because its ECU (Engine Control Unit - effectively its brain) has gone haywire. The electrician man's taken away today to reprogramme; which will cost me a whopping £400. Why do things always go wrong and require money being spent at the worst possible time?! 

I've had no money coming in since my final student loan payment last APRIL; and my savings are rapidly depleting because everything around me seems to be falling to pieces.

To top it all off; my laptop's being a little, temperamental, shall we say? 

I've applied for 306 jobs. All to no avail; and it's getting a little tiring now.

No JSA. No wages. No benefits at all. There are people out there who have made little effort to find work but seem to get money thrown at them for doing naff all... Is it fair? Not really. Will anyone do anything to stop it? Doubt it. Does anyone really care? Again, I doubt it.

Anyway, excuse the rant... It's just that sleep deprivation always gets me moaning.

Let's hope I'm in a better mood next time.

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Junior Doctors: Your Life in Their Hands - Episode Two

This episode was absolutely littered with fantastic and hilarious quotes. Well, maybe not littered, but there were a few...

The episode started off showing the wonderful Jen aka. 'Dr Exceptionally Competent' at her finest: First administering IV Morphine to a patient with an inflamed pancreas and after this, making her way down to A&E to pop a Nasogastric Tube in for another patient. This, however, was something that she didn't manage first time, I'm sure it's an easy mistake to make; but seeing how much distress the patient was in, Jen evidently beat herself up about it afterwards.
Picture courtesy of BBC Three

Then the programme focussed on Emily ('Dr. Massive Hairclip') who was wandering around showing her massive hairclip to all of the world (or part of Liverpool, anyway...) She was on her very first night shift; and was particularly peeved that she was working at the same time that Tom had organised a massive Junior Doctor Do. Her shift was unbelievably quiet; which must have annoyed the camera crew and editors... And she was left to sleep in the Doctors' Mess room enveloped in a blanket whilst her housemates were partying the night away. She did have to do a PR though, which I'm sure the BBC team loved... (Fantastic quote No. 1: "The X-Ray shows absolutely loads of poo.")

Tom, however, did a good job on his day shift of spotting that the patient he was chatting to/clerking was probably having a heart attack. Cue lots of staff crowding round this poor clammy man's bed whilst Tom tried to pop a cannula in. Unfortunately for him (and the patient) this hasn't been Tom's strong point so far. He managed it on the second attempt; much to the relief of everyone there (and me, at home with my hands covering my eyes...) It's almost as though they're trying to shoehorn one of the doctors into the 'bad at cannulating' stereotype; like Andy in last year's series. 
No Spongebob action this week which is disappointing, but I'm sure I'll get over it.

Another fantastic, if not slightly crude, quote was when the other doctors were speculating as to whether Emily was going out for a date. She vehemently denied this; but that didn't stop the others grilling her:
Jen -"Is he going to cook you a nice vegetarian meal?"
Tom - "Or is it going to be a meat feast?"
Poor Emily also got branded an "old tanker" by Tom for her drinking habits...

Ed's now an F1! Poor Ed. At the end of last week's episode he had to go back home to Italy to visit his ill Father; and this week he was back, with the awful news that his Father died before he got there. Very sad. He's now based on what appears to be MAU instead of A&E; and still seems a little bit unsure of himself, but it's clear that his confidence is gradually growing.

Tristan, however, hardly popped up; except to talk about how to deal with dying patients. He also managed to pop up whenever there appeared to be partying.

Oli was back this week as well. No topless scenes though...We didn't even get to see his array of unusual shirts this week either. I'm slightly disappointed. We did, however, get to follow him on his night shift, where he uttered one of the best phrases I've heard recently (mainly because I don't get out very much...) Which was: "You see an empty bed and think 'I could sleep the s**t out of you'". Just amazing.

Of course, this week also featured the exciting obligatory payday celebrations. An important milestone in the Junior Doctors series; which normally leads to various images of the doctors inebriated and dancing badly and also shopping, or talking about shopping. (As an aside, my personal favourite 'payday bit' was Amieth's shopping trip for vegetables in series two...)

I mentioned in my post about the first episode that I reckoned that Kiera would be the one who 'would fade into the background as a victim of editing' and I was right. I did not see her once during this episode!

Next week: It's all about alcohol and the effect it has on the residents of Liverpool.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Junior Doctors: Your Life in Their Hands - Episode One

Now, I love this programme. That's no exaggeration. So I thought to pass some time, I'd tell you a little about it. (Even though, if you're reading this, you probably watched it anyway...)

Firstly, there was, of course, the obligatory 'last supper' - Full of worries from the F1s, anecdotes from the F2s and the F1s seeking reassurance from their slightly more experienced colleagues.

Let's talk a little about the new doctors:

Ed - Poor, poor Ed aka 'The Italian Mountain Doctor'... He did a couple of shifts in A&E before his superiors decided that he wasn't quite cut out for it yet. It was for the best in terms of the patients' interests, but the poor guy wasn't exactly let down gently it seems. This meant that he was to be demoted to an F1 position elsewhere in the hospital. To top it all off, he had to go home to visit his ill father who had taken a turn for the worse. At work, he clearly had the best interests of his patients at heart, even if he was very unconfident with it. He wouldn't have sought so much reassurance from his superiors otherwise. I look forward to watching him grow more confident.

Oli - Aka. 'Dr. Toerag'... Charming? Yes. Popular? Yes. Those shirts? Perhaps not... He clearly uses his charming bedside manner to his advantage, even managing to persuade a lady with emphysema to have an ABG despite her hating them; and only got branded a toerag. 

Tom -  Wow! I love Tom! He kind of reminds me of Boris Johnson in a way, but I'm sure that's just me. He dressed up as Spongebob Squarepants which makes anyone a winner in my book. He seems very empathic but also slightly unsure of himself, like Ed.

Tristan - Aka. 'Dr. Nice Beard who works in Gerontology'. The daddy of the group. Very cute daughter. Felt quite sorry for him having to do a PR so early on, but that's part of the job, I suppose, and he evidently wasn't phased by it.

Keira - Also works in A&E with Ed. I like her, and she slightly reminds me of Toyah Willcox in a way; again, I'm sure that's just me... I'd like to see more of her but I fear she'll be one of the doctors who'll fade into the background as a victim of editing.

Emily - Aka. 'Dr. Massive Hairclip'. What a massive hairclip! I like her too, although I must admit I wasn't expecting to see a life model's bum in the first few minutes of the programme... Pleasant surprise? Ha...

Jen - I completely admire her evident competitive and determined streak. She got into theatre within her first week, which is pretty impressive. I'm sure she'll go far. I'm actually starting to sound slightly like a teacher writing school reports now...

On the subject of the doctors, I swear that there were supposed to be eight of them. Even the original press picture released by the BBC featured eight - So what's happened to the other one? I'm confused, but I'm sure time will tell.

This programme, of course, also featured the 'Obligatory Crash Call Run'. Obviously. Tom was on call and had to run across the hospital to a male patient who suddenly went into cardiac arrest while his 15 year old daughter stood helpless nearby. Tom and the team were unfortunately unable to save the poor man. A very, very sad story indeed.

One plus, however, is that, we: the audience, were spared the bleep! This was something that really got on my nerves during the second series - So God knows how the doctors feel with such an obscene, wailing, bleepy thing on their person constantly.