This afternoon I had my first session in the Clinical Skills Centre, the place where we get to practice the hands on side of medicine, before being let loose on real patients. Not only do we get to practice the procedures in clinical skills, but we also have to practice looking like doctors – no jeans and hoodies here, and the ward rules of no jewellery, closed shoes and bare arms below the elbows also apply.
With Hospital Acquired Infections being a cause of concern in hospitals nationally, you’re serenaded on arrival at the hospital with alternating announcements reminding you to extinguish your cigarette, and to wash your hands on entering the wards. Preventing the spread of infection was, therefore, our first topic at clinical skills, where we had the opportunity to play with special gels and blue light (very CSI), tried on surgical masks, officially learnt how to wash our hands, and were presented with our own clip-on alcohol gel bottles.
I can’t help but be reminded of the strange, shiny toilet paper we had at junior school, with the text ‘Now wash your hands’ at the bottom of every sheet.