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13 February 2010

February is a blur

  As of today, the first month of 2nd year is already over. Wow. So What have I been working on?

  First week of school I was actually absent (how's THAT for rebel?) As I was working with "Health Careers in the Bush" a Queensland Health initiative that brings interested high school kids in from all over rural areas to see what a future in rural health might look like. So 14 girls and 5 guys in year 10 met up with us in Townsville, QLD (a 2 hr flight from Brisbane). We explored James Cook University, the Townsville Hospital, the Flying Doctors and Ambulance Services. It was actually a packed 4 days, but they were a great bunch. The best part is that some who were certain of what they wanted to do were now less so, and others more so.

  After returning back to Brisbane, it was time to get back into high gear and catch up. We've covered allergies, anaphylaxis, skin cancers, eyeballs, anemia, geriatrics, and burns. In the mean time, we are expected this year to go out and dig up our own clinical experiences, besides the ones provided by the program. So far I have been following up with the Burns unit. This involves people who have lost large chunks of their skin due to fires, infections or ulcers. The nurses and docs on the unit have been friendly and I have met some very interesting patients. I find with massive burn injuries, you tend to have 4 categories of patients: 
  1. they were doing something incredibly stupid at the time of the injury (sorry, but usually young males).
  2. they were doing something incredibly heroic
  3. they were the victim of abuse/attempted murder (usually a woman).
  4. they lost consciousness/coordination within the reach of hot things (ie stroke in the shower, fast food worker slips and dunks a limb in the deep fryer- which apparently happens with disconcerting regularity!)
  It tends to be a long road to recovery. They require the services of a whole team of people- occupational and physiotherapists, psychologists and psychiatrists, as well as surgeons, nurses, etc.
  So this is what I've been working on lately. Lots of reading, lots of writing, HOPEFULLY lots of absorbing.
  We finally have regular internet at home! So the VOIP phone works again, connecting us with the folks back home. Rob is starting to paper the town with resumes. Hopefully something will come up soon.
  As Rob says, "some days are hot, some days are really hot". right now the days are merely hot, with 30oC and 70% humidity being the average. Happy Valentine's Day, Happy St. Maro's Day (shares the same feast day as Valentine, but gets no press), and Happy Chinese New Year, everybody!