Personally, I crashed and burned today. I started on a rest station, but somehow did not become magically more prepared by sitting there staring blankly at the wall for 15 minutes. My first real station involved a child with a bright red rash on both cheeks. Most of the children I’ve come across in practice so far have been injured, not sick, so I was unprepared for this. And in my panic, my brain shrunk to the size of a pea and when consulted, would only scream “IT’S LUPUS!” Operating without my brain was difficult, although it might have made me a nicer person. I ended up with a mark of 5/20 for this station – 4 of these marks were empathy points.
The rest was not quite so bad, in that my brain decided to re-join the party, and I managed to at least pass the remaining stations. I even did quite well in managing a patient with acute pyelonephritis, although it probably helped that we’d been told to expect a station on genitourinary infection, so I couldn’t really get too far off track. Surprisingly, we all lost marks for not eliciting a positive ‘loin punch’ by lightly punching the patient in her already-painful kidney. The trade-off was, I got almost perfect empathy scores.
After a lengthy group de-brief, my classmate and I drove back to our own town to try and console ourselves, and that was when we encountered the lowest point of our day.
Neither of us could open our beers.