Managing clinicals with health problems?

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colabottles
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#1
Report Thread starter 8 years ago
#1
Hi all

I just thought I'd post to see if anyone could offer any advice or experiences of situations similar to mine. Basically, I have been suffering with some kind of polyarthralgia (nothing is really diagnosed yet) in which physical exhaustion wipes me out and leaves me pretty much unable to walk for the next couple of days. It's currently fine and as long as I don't do too much physical activity and I can carry on life pretty much as normal with no walking issues. However I'm getting increasingly worried that I'll have to up my time on my feet in clinicals and might end up completely wiped out. I went to see my tutor and they said that clinicals are pretty much 9-5 running around and their only idea for helping me out was a mobility scooter which is definitely not necessary and would just feel a bit wrong!

So I'm just wondering if anyone could maybe fill me in on your experience of what clinicals are actually like, or if anyone else has been through a similar situation to me and how you dealt with it?

Thanks!
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DexterM
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#2
Report 8 years ago
#2
Hey! Sorry to hear you're having some rubbish health problems but well done for thinking about this in advance. I'm not in a similar situation but I just wanted to say that you're wise to be thinking about this now. I started clinicals this year and it is really bloody knackering. I've been trying to work a part time job as well as being on placement 9-5 every day and studying, and it's really not sustainable. My feet just can't take it!

On a positive note, some placements have really nice junior doctors who will send you home at lunchtime

I take it you've tried all the treatment options available?
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toocoolforshoes
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#3
Report 8 years ago
#3
(Original post by colabottles)
Hi all

I just thought I'd post to see if anyone could offer any advice or experiences of situations similar to mine. Basically, I have been suffering with some kind of polyarthralgia (nothing is really diagnosed yet) in which physical exhaustion wipes me out and leaves me pretty much unable to walk for the next couple of days. It's currently fine and as long as I don't do too much physical activity and I can carry on life pretty much as normal with no walking issues. However I'm getting increasingly worried that I'll have to up my time on my feet in clinicals and might end up completely wiped out. I went to see my tutor and they said that clinicals are pretty much 9-5 running around and their only idea for helping me out was a mobility scooter which is definitely not necessary and would just feel a bit wrong!

So I'm just wondering if anyone could maybe fill me in on your experience of what clinicals are actually like, or if anyone else has been through a similar situation to me and how you dealt with it?

Thanks!
Get a proper Dx first, uni will accomodate as neccessary.
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Fission_Mailed
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#4
Report 8 years ago
#4
As long as you follow the maxim: "never stand when you can sit, never sit when you could lie down and never lie down when you could just go home" it is possible to reduce the time on your feet. Clerking a patient? Take a chair. If you're on a set of wards miles from the canteen, bring lunch and eat in the staff room. Plan your personal admin so you don't have to walk to the course office twice in a day to hand something in, do it all together, etc.

If you go to theatre, you will be standing up for a long time if you assist, but there is not normally a 3 line whip to do so. In CP1 there will probably be another student so the surgeon won't really care which of you scrubs if you don't feel up to it. Then you can sit with the anaesthetist. Go to lots of clinics because you can sit down all morning.

All this might not add up to enough of an energy saving to make much of a difference, but hopefully the powers that be will also have some adjustments they can make. Unfortunately, there isn't much they can do about that fact that clinical medicine is very tiring, even for somebody with no health problems. During CP1 I would get home, cook, eat and then fall straight to sleep on the sofa, and this was before all of the health crap I've had to deal with more recently.

Good luck.
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colabottles
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#5
Report Thread starter 8 years ago
#5
(Original post by DexterM)
Hey! Sorry to hear you're having some rubbish health problems but well done for thinking about this in advance. I'm not in a similar situation but I just wanted to say that you're wise to be thinking about this now. I started clinicals this year and it is really bloody knackering. I've been trying to work a part time job as well as being on placement 9-5 every day and studying, and it's really not sustainable. My feet just can't take it!

On a positive note, some placements have really nice junior doctors who will send you home at lunchtime

I take it you've tried all the treatment options available?
Hey yeah I can only imagine how tiring it is! It's good to hear that some of the doctors can be nice and accommodating though Well I'm currently on a myriad of painkillers that don't help at all but I'm going to see a specialist next week so I'm hoping for a diagnosis and hopefully some form of treatment that might make clinicals a bit more manageable!

(Original post by Fission_Mailed)
As long as you follow the maxim: "never stand when you can sit, never sit when you could lie down and never lie down when you could just go home" it is possible to reduce the time on your feet. Clerking a patient? Take a chair. If you're on a set of wards miles from the canteen, bring lunch and eat in the staff room. Plan your personal admin so you don't have to walk to the course office twice in a day to hand something in, do it all together, etc.

If you go to theatre, you will be standing up for a long time if you assist, but there is not normally a 3 line whip to do so. In CP1 there will probably be another student so the surgeon won't really care which of you scrubs if you don't feel up to it. Then you can sit with the anaesthetist. Go to lots of clinics because you can sit down all morning.

All this might not add up to enough of an energy saving to make much of a difference, but hopefully the powers that be will also have some adjustments they can make. Unfortunately, there isn't much they can do about that fact that clinical medicine is very tiring, even for somebody with no health problems. During CP1 I would get home, cook, eat and then fall straight to sleep on the sofa, and this was before all of the health crap I've had to deal with more recently.

Good luck.
Ahh thank you for that tbh I just wanted reassurance that it's not like you're forced to do specific things that might keep you on your feet all day just to pass the year - I haven't really spoke to anyone at all about the ins and outs of clinicals so I don't really know how it's gonna be! So what you've described does sound a bit more manageable than what I've been imagining, thank you :h:
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345rty
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#6
Report 8 years ago
#6
It varies a lot by firm, some firms you might average 4 hours in a day or so, others can be far more time consuming. In terms of physical exertion I'm 'able bodied' and find medical or surgical firms knackering when on the feet all day.

My last firm was leaving the house at 0730 and back in the house by 1600 most days. This firm I leave the house at 0655 and get back at 1920.

Some firms are frustratingly unpredictable, with some short days and some long ones. I try to keep a tupperware box in my bag of instant porridge so I never have to go too long without meals so long as I am prepared to say sod you guys I'm going to eat. This can be awkward if working with people who won't eat due to time demands.
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colabottles
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#7
Report Thread starter 8 years ago
#7
(Original post by 345rty)
It varies a lot by firm, some firms you might average 4 hours in a day or so, others can be far more time consuming. In terms of physical exertion I'm 'able bodied' and find medical or surgical firms knackering when on the feet all day.

My last firm was leaving the house at 0730 and back in the house by 1600 most days. This firm I leave the house at 0655 and get back at 1920.

Some firms are frustratingly unpredictable, with some short days and some long ones. I try to keep a tupperware box in my bag of instant porridge so I never have to go too long without meals so long as I am prepared to say sod you guys I'm going to eat. This can be awkward if working with people who won't eat due to time demands.
Ouch, that sounds awful! Luckily I have the chance to be considered for not being placed far afield so I hopefully shouldn't have such horribly long days. Hoping that some adjustments may possibly be made once I have some form diagnosis too... fingers crossed!
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colabottles
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#8
Report Thread starter 7 years ago
#8
Sorry to resurrect a dead thread but it's better than making a new one. I have since been diagnosed with ME/CFS and have been quite poorly for a long time now, often to the point of becoming bedbound. Clinicals start in a few weeks and I'm starting to panic... has anyone had any experience with doing clinicals part time or anything similar? I feel a bit like I'm being cheeky if I ask the uni, especially as there is a certain stigma surrounding chronic fatigue syndrome. However I'm not sure what else I can do apart from dropping out and I really don't want that to be an option!
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Fission_Mailed
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#9
Report 7 years ago
#9
(Original post by colabottles)
Sorry to resurrect a dead thread but it's better than making a new one. I have since been diagnosed with ME/CFS and have been quite poorly for a long time now, often to the point of becoming bedbound. Clinicals start in a few weeks and I'm starting to panic... has anyone had any experience with doing clinicals part time or anything similar? I feel a bit like I'm being cheeky if I ask the uni, especially as there is a certain stigma surrounding chronic fatigue syndrome. However I'm not sure what else I can do apart from dropping out and I really don't want that to be an option!
Heya , sorry to hear things aren't going well. You absolutely need to ask the uni; they are normally pretty good about helping people out when things go a bit wrong. Realistically, part time CP1 isn't going to work- sure they'd probably be pretty reasonable about you missing days when you aren't well enough to go in (hell, I missed about a quarter of paediatrics and wasn't even challenged), but a formal arrangement to do it part time probably isn't compatible with meeting all of the module requirements. Unfortunately it isn't just about passing the exam. If you aren't well enough to do it this year, they will let you take a year out and try again next February.

But hey, I could be wrong; talk to your personal tutor and the clinical sub-deans (especially the clinical sub-deans).
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jelly1000
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#10
Report 7 years ago
#10
(Original post by Fission_Mailed)
Heya , sorry to hear things aren't going well. You absolutely need to ask the uni; they are normally pretty good about helping people out when things go a bit wrong. Realistically, part time CP1 isn't going to work- sure they'd probably be pretty reasonable about you missing days when you aren't well enough to go in (hell, I missed about a quarter of paediatrics and wasn't even challenged), but a formal arrangement to do it part time probably isn't compatible with meeting all of the module requirements. Unfortunately it isn't just about passing the exam. If you aren't well enough to do it this year, they will let you take a year out and try again next February.

But hey, I could be wrong; talk to your personal tutor and the clinical sub-deans (especially the clinical sub-deans).
I may be wrong but I believe ME/CFS is a life long condition which flares up particularly person gets stressed e.c.t , so taking a year out probably wouldn't solve things as it could just flare up again
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hopes
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#11
Report 7 years ago
#11
(Original post by jelly1000)
I may be wrong but I believe ME/CFS is a life long condition which flares up particularly person gets stressed e.c.t , so taking a year out probably wouldn't solve things as it could just flare up again
Thread full of medical students/doctors. I think they may know that...
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Fission_Mailed
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#12
Report 7 years ago
#12
(Original post by jelly1000)
I may be wrong but I believe ME/CFS is a life long condition which flares up particularly person gets stressed e.c.t , so taking a year out probably wouldn't solve things as it could just flare up again
It can be lifelong, and it's definitely hard to predict, but the prognosis is really variable. Some people will go into remission for quite a long time; if the OP is feeling better in a year's time there is nothing to say that she won't be able to finish her degree.
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Hygeia
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#13
Report 7 years ago
#13
(Original post by colabottles)
Sorry to resurrect a dead thread but it's better than making a new one. I have since been diagnosed with ME/CFS and have been quite poorly for a long time now, often to the point of becoming bedbound. Clinicals start in a few weeks and I'm starting to panic... has anyone had any experience with doing clinicals part time or anything similar? I feel a bit like I'm being cheeky if I ask the uni, especially as there is a certain stigma surrounding chronic fatigue syndrome. However I'm not sure what else I can do apart from dropping out and I really don't want that to be an option!
I have a condition with a lot of overlaps with ME/CFS and became 'disabled' in 2nd year of med school - now working as a core medical trainee. PM me if you want to talk/any advice (I don't like saying too much about my experiences on the open forum)
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