Second Attempt at Work Experience

As I have completed my GCSEs this year, I started my summer holidays extremely early and almost a month has gone by since. I wouldn’t want that month to have gone to waste and my extra bit of holiday to amount to nothing, so I decided to do something productive and get a job, not a paid one, but a job nonetheless.

Working at my local medical practice this past week was actually quite enjoyable and I have learnt many things; it was a nice change from my last work placement and this time I got to do more than just a spot of shredding.

This is just part of what I got up to during my time at the practice:

Monday

I met everyone in the practice and they were nice and friendly. I did some scanning, stamping, opening of letters as if it were Christmas and nosed about through patients’ business (only I can’t tell you anything). I sat at reception and saw the way they prioritised patients in order of urgency, handle prescriptions and rude patients.

Tuesday

I spent the morning with the phlebotomist (blood-taker), learned how to find my veins (the visible blue ones), and my pulse. I held warm blood tubes and gently shook them so as not to break the cells. I noticed that not everyone is as big a wimp as I am; I saw our first patient through my fingers but then became more comfortable as I saw the ease of the procedure and the speed at which the tubes filled up. I didn’t take any blood but by the end of it I felt like I would know how to. Perhaps some dart practice to help me along…

Wednesday

I joined the nurse in vaccinating squirming children, poking at squidgy swollen feet and peeking into magnified ears. I learnt that cotton buds are evil and that their inventor’s motivation was purely financial. The ears had dried blood, blocking wax and a burst drum, all because of an innocent looking cotton bud. A man entered with sharp abdominal pains; trapped wind was suggested but upon checking a urine sample, blood was detected even though the urine looked perfectly normal. I also pressed a little boy’s spotty belly to see if it was meningitis but because the spots reappeared shortly after pressing and he was far too lively, it was nothing serious.

Thursday

I did general admin work; updating event calendars, taking in and stamping the mail and discovering a birthday card (not for me) in the mail. I oversaw a patient consultation meeting, signing people in and making sure forms were completed. I rummaged through a neat filing system to find a patient’s notes, hidden deep within.

Friday

I spent the day with the practice manager, made call cards with everyone’s telephone numbers (for when the building gets bombed and cordoned off), got to grips with the new laminator she had just bought, typed up notices, laminated them once I had figured out the laminator, and got to go home early because she was leaving at the same time. I also signed a non-disclosure of confidential information contract, so, in case of any lawyers chasing me up, I have withheld all names and the people reading this are perfectly trust-worthy.

These are just a few of the things I noticed:

  • Everyone makes use of the internet, whether to check the symptoms of a minor ailment or to show the patient where the kidneys are in their body. The internet is an extra employee.
  • Urgency is subjective. What one person considers serious another would not even blink at. My family does not often visit the GP, but there were people requesting urgent appointments for a mosquito bite.
  • Politeness is appreciated. Many receptionists complained about the demanding nature of some patients. Not even a thankyou.

This week has been extremely beneficial in terms of gaining experience and a feel for the medical profession. I still want to be some kind of doctor, still a psychiatrist but I am now also considering working in A&E. I have another week to go and am pleased to say that I am actually looking forward to it.

Round and round we go

Yesterday, in celebration of the end of our exams, a bunch of thrill-seeking teenagers headed off to Thorpe Park to pass the day high- in the sky- shaking about the brain cells that they would not be needing for a few months.

We were not the only ones with the same idea and many other teenagers, donning the same Leavers’ Hoodies as us, had decided upon the same day to visit the theme park. This influx of visitors creates a very serious problem and the one thing that I hate the most about theme parks: queues. I almost wish for it to rain just so that everyone, but me, will go home and leave me to the rides.

Fortunately, the queues were long but endurable and the longest length of time we had to wait was 45 minutes, which is relatively short if you consider that this waiting period can easily go up to 2 hours later on in the summer when most schools start going on trips and during weekends. Queuing up is such an integral, but hated, part of theme parks that they have evolved into something more than just the original straight line of people. Now they are tricky and deceptive, as they wind around hidden corners, behind ruins and into caves. The queues are now mazes of slow-moving people, that create false impressions and hopes that are overcome by groans of dread at the discovery of hidden rows of people.

The option of paying to skip the queues by buying Fastrack strikes me as slightly immoral but it was unnecessary as according to the some of my classmates, they needed the waiting time to digest their food, or coax a wimp onto the ride. Far from being bored, a game of ‘Mathew says’, provided some entertainment as restless teenagers queuing for SAW- The Ride, mindlessly hopped and hi-fived each other on demand, in response to an invisible voice, reflecting the nature of the SAW movies, of which I have only watched the third.

Due to the mostly short queues, I managed to go on just about every major roller coaster, and even had time for the little boats and the spinning tea cups! I am not scared of heights and whilst most people scream on rollercoasters, I can’t help but laugh. In every single one of the theme park photos, I was smiling, and not just because I always made sure to be ready for the flash. Nothing scared me.

Not SAW- THE RIDE,

Saw Rollercoaster - Thorpe Park

or the new SWARM.

Well, almost nothing scared me. The thrill and excitement that had me cackling in hysteric joy up in the air was not present when it came to the most childish but diabolical ride ever to be created.

The Rocky Express:

With time to kill between roller coasters, my friends and I had a go on this small train ride, that quickly went round and round in a circle, over a series of bumps. Though it was a therapeutic massage compared to the bigger rides, it made me extremely nauseous and I couldn’t wait for it to end and to escape my bright red train carriage.

Unfortunately, that was not so. Despite unanimous protest, bar one, the controller gave us another nostalgic go. Bearing my teeth and holding my poor stomach, I endured it and when it finally stopped, I felt ready to kiss the ground- had I been allowed to reach it. For again the evil controller refused to stop the ride and around we went for a few more infernal minutes as she laughed on with a manic smile. At least on a roller coaster you have the benefit of knowing that in 20 seconds, it will all be over, but on this ride, we were not sure when or if we would ever be allowed to leave. No one would hear our screams over the mind numbing cowboy music. Three consecutive rounds were enough to satiate the sick urges of the controller and her smile illustrated her twisted sense of humour as she allowed us the room to escape, angry and green in the face. All our anger was turned onto one of our own as we found out that she had been in cahoots with the controller and that the sly nods of her head, had been the signal for the commencement of our torture. Betrayal in its purest form.

I have never been on so many stomach juggling rides in one day and it was with 15 minutes left to spare that my stomach had finally had enough. The bus ride back was absolute agony. Shattered, I closed my eyes to sleep but the movement of the bus had my mind twirling, tumbling and looping as if I were still on a roller coaster. Then, the road bumps, which the unsympathetic driver took no care with, were torturous. Even as I closed my eyes to sleep at night, I could not rid myself of that falling and swirling sensation.

Who came up with the idea of strapping a person to a piece of metal and tossing them about viciously in the air anyway?

The anticlimactic end

After five weeks of GCSE exams, I would expect to feel more excited than I do at the moment. After 5 years of education in the same school, I would expect to feel something greater than what I do now. However, my own feelings are non co-operative and I even sense a hint of boredom approaching. Is it a case of delayed reactions or is finishing a key stage of your education not so important? After all, if all goes according to plan, I have plenty more years to go.

Perhaps, it is a completely opposite case of advanced reactions. I celebrated the end before it came? What with counting down to the finale with each completed exam, my final exam may have been just another step and although it was the final one, it did not get any more recognition than the first because my mind had got so used to taking steps. Had the exams been compacted into a single week, I think I would have felt more emotional at the end, relieved and excited, but because they were spread over weeks, all the feeling diffused in between. Maybe A-levels will feel like more of an accomplishment…

I can’t believe I am already going to do A-levels. It feels like only this morning I was practising for my weekly spelling tests, but in reality, it has been a long time since I’ve done one of those. It has been a long time since I’ve been in a playground. Teenagers do not go to the playground at break time. It has been a long time since I’ve lined up in a straight line, crossed my arms and placed a finger on my lips. Teenagers are not so docile. It has been a long time since I’ve used a pencil to write, carried a lunchbox, worn plimsolls, frozen when the whistle blew for the end of break or sat on the carpet. Those were the good ol’ days… Years go by so quickly and things change so fast. I can already feel the wrinkles hiding under my teenage skin, bidding their diminishing time.

I was talking to an elderly lady on the bus this morning and she was telling me about the importance of buying the right pair of shoes to maintain a good, healthy back. I found myself wondering if she felt like only that morning she had been practising for her weekly spelling tests. Trust me to get all reflective and go into deep thinking over something as trivial as finishing exams…

Exams are over! School is out! I am using exclamation marks to compensate for my lack of enthusiasm!

This will be one of the longest summer holidays I have ever had and to ward off feelings of boredom or unnecessary over thinking, I will read all the books that I had no time for during the school year. So, recommendations please!

The Procrastinator

I am not poetic. I have not a poetic bone in my entire body. All that seems to change when I have things that must be done. I wrote this poem whilst (or instead of) revising for an upcoming R.S exam and coincidentally it just so happened to be about the act of writing poetry, which I would not normally do, whilst (or instead of) revising for an upcoming R.S exam.

I call it: The Procrastinator

The Procrastinator

Is that what I am?

Or am I just allowing myself sufficient time to think?

I’m just pushing it off.

I’m doing it when the time is right.

After breakfast

Then, lunch

Dinner-

That was two days ago,

That is procrastination.

If you say so.

Who has the right to label the actions of the lazy?

Who has the right to label the lazy?

Only the lazy.

Even then,

The labels

Will

Take

A

Very

Long

Time

In

Coming.

They will arrive at your next birthday.

Can you push off your own date of birth?

Yes.

No.

If you can find the will

To act,

Then you will find that the date will not move.

They fight against the procrastinator.

Imposing numbers

Names of gods

Forced into squares

As the unstoppable

Tick, cross or absolute red ring

Approaches without

A warning

Without a notice

Without hesitation

No flexibility

No mercy

No consideration

Deaf to the pleas of

The procrastinator.

Procrastinator meet time.

He waits for no one.


What do you think of the product of my revision alternative? Don’t worry I have a positive feeling about that exam, but we all know what I am going to blame if I fail.

I type this whilst (or instead of) revising for an upcoming history exam.

Tags are excuses to be nosy

My little sister, who was tagged by my mother, who was tagged by another sister, tagged me. I will take part in this family game of tag, but I am afraid the family connections end here.

Do you have a middle name?

Unfortunately not and I am still not over it. I was not worth the extra thinking for an additional name and I am pretty sure that I was not consulted.


What’s your favourite subject at school?

English Literature, languages (Spanish/French), and history. Teachers have a significant impact on the preference towards a subject but I genuinely enjoy studying them- reading suddenly becomes studying.

What’s your favourite drink?

Strawberry juice. It’s light, smells of summer and looks like blood. 

Favourite song at the moment?

The birthday song. Isn’t that everyone’s favourite? Who doesn’t love their birthday? Happy Birthday mum!

What would you name your children?

This one is difficult. If someone were to pry into my computer and look through my personal documents, they would find a curious little word document with a list of names for any future children I may have. The list is embarrassingly long and as I don’t want more than one or two children, the few I may have will be burdened with the names of many. Where I do not have a middle name, they may have more names than they can spell. The latest additions to my ever-growing list are Nina and Adina, and I most recently crossed out Caramel and Aphrodite; in retrospect, they are terrible names.

Do you participate in any sports?

I enjoy sports but at the moment I do not participate in any, unless yoga is included. P.E class used to be my only form of exercise but now that I am on study leave, I hardly move.

Favourite book?

Anything with words.

Favourite colour?

Purple.

Favourite perfume?

Light, fresh and fruity with a hint of spice. I currently smell like Calvin Klein’s Beauty.

Have you graduated High School?

I am in the process of graduating Secondary School, with only three exams left. High School is for Americans and if the movies are anything to go by, they don’t do much studying.

Have you ever been out of the country?

I have been to Algeria, Spain and France. I dream of travelling everywhere but I am parent-bound and my mother is unadventurous. Since the invention of the internet and Google Earth, she can not see the point.

Do you speak any other languages?

Spanish, Arabic and French. I can count to twenty-nine in Basque and say ‘I hate you’ in Somali.

Do you have any siblings?

Yes. They claim to be related.

What’s your favourite store?

When it comes to shopping for clothes, I have no preference. I’m not one to go by brands and designer names. If I can afford it and it does not make me look terrible, then it’s mine.

Favourite restaurant?  

I’m not a big fan of food. So, anywhere with a nice view and preferably not in England.

Do you like school?

It depends on the day, but generally, I do. More so this past school year, when I just happen to be leaving. I didn’t like it a few years ago. I felt that it was a lot of pressure and the social aspect made me cringe; I can not handle school drama.

Favourite youtubers?  

Pass.

Favourite movie?

Again, difficult… I enjoy the Harry Potter series, I enjoyed the Hunger Games, but those are just the first ones that come to mind, not necessarily my favourites.

Favourite T.V shows?

I hate all these ‘favourite questions’. It is much easier to decide on your least favourite. I enjoy Downton Abbey, The Apprentice, The Vampire Diaries and more recently, medical programmes such as Junior Doctors and 24hrs in A & E.

P.C or Mac?

Neither. I know the internet, not their techno-vessels.

What phone do you have?

HTC Wildfire S.

How tall are you?

A more appropriate question would be, how short am I… Ridiculously short. My younger sister is much taller than me.

I now tag a non-related blogger. Becky, you’re it. I know you have exams, so pass it on if you don’t have time.

Going through exams…

My life is currently full of exams; hence, my (hopefully noted) absence on the blogging scene. It’s not for lack of time as ‘study leave’ leaves me with more hours than I need, but it is because I fear I will use up all my words and creativity on a blog post and then during the exam I will be all dried out. That would be a problem.

I take a very relaxed approach to my exams, or at least I think I do as I have no one to compare myself against, unless I include the brief conversations I have with other students who seem frazzled, are running on energy drinks or coffee and are lost if it is not on their revision notes. I revise but at a slow pace. Too little revision will make me feel unprepared and lacking in confidence and familiarity with the exam material, whilst too much revision will make me feel anxious. I hope I’ve got the balance right and that I get the results I’m hoping for.

It helps to remember that exams are not the whole world, that if I fail it will not signal the commencement of the apocalypse and that I should try my best, but there is no real way to completely get rid of nerves. Strangely enough, I find that the only exams I get nervous before are the English papers, not science which I find harder or any other subject, only English. It is one of my favourite subjects and yet I feel most nervous when it comes to it. Maybe it’s because I truly want to do well and I have such high expectations of myself and so I feel more pressured. Maybe it’s because I always do well in English and as the questions can be slightly unpredictable, I fear that my passing streak will somehow fail at the crucial moment.

I had my English Literature paper this morning and I feel extremely positive about my performance. I wrote more than I usually do, I used ‘bigger words’ than I normally do and even had time to read over some of my work. In less humble words…I aced it!  I hope so anyway. Last night I could not sleep without thinking about To Kill a Mockingbird, zooming my unconscious state into non-existent extracts in the book. Within those tense hours of sleep, I was late for the exam, I ran out of time during the exam and I took the exam at home but was unable to concentrate because of my parents’ persistent shouting. Does this happen to anyone else or am I completely alone in these unusual nocturnal behaviours?

On Thursday, a poetry exam I will sit.

I really hope it will be easy.

Wednesday night, the anxiety will hit;

My stomach already feels a little queasy.

It’s an afternoon exam so I get to wake up late!

But that just means amongst the nervousness and apprehension, I will be stuck.

As you can probably tell, my ability to write poetry is not too great.

Fortunately, I am only analysing them, so, wish me luck!

The End

Today marks an end. A chapter in my life has closed and as much as I would like to put a bookmark in it, nothing can stop natural progression. I’ll miss that old chapter, and I’ll remember the general contents, although the exact words may evade me. My favourite characters will be remembered fondly and may be carried on with me to the next chapter and others will die as an idea within those pages but all will have an impact on the rest of the book; my life.

Analogy over and done with, let me return to the basics. Today was my last day of school. I have been in this school for five years. Five years are a long time. I will return only for exams that will end in mid-June. I will see my classmates only in states of nervousness and then we will depart onto bigger things, farther apart.

It seems strange that I won’t be waking up at 6.45 each morning to wear the same uniform to take the same journey to get to the same school, as I have done for the past five years. I’m glad to be finished but also sad. I didn’t realise how much I loved my school until I was leaving it, how much the teachers cared and how the students weren’t all that bad after all (most of them).

I’m not going to get all emotional in text, I was incapable of shedding a tear today. So, as everyone was bawling, even the known sociopath, I was taking pictures of their teary moments. We showed the entire school a video montage of out time, gave small speeches and left the teachers with one last surprise. Ellen’s Dance Dares!

If this new phenomena has not yet trended near you (Antarctica?), the rules of the game are simple: sneak up behind people, dance, don’t get caught and catch it on camera. Being the daredevil I am, I got behind two teachers and busted a few moves, and being the darling angel I am, they did not see it coming. The result was a hilarious collection of unsuspecting teachers going about their normal, daily routines and a band of sneaky, hoodied-up leavers waving, bopping, shaking and anything else that would classify as dancing. Unfortunately, we failed to get the headteacher. She was never around when the camera was out, or perhaps she was watching us on CCTV and knew to stay away.

It hasn’t really hit me yet that I am leaving. I still remember being in my first year and watching the year’s leavers say their goodbyes, thinking that they were so lucky to go and that I still had ages left before being set free. I did that every single year for four years and now it is my turn, but, I just feel like holding onto the chains, even as they loosen to let me go. I really am going to miss my school.

If I’m not going to cry, the least I can do is write to express what sadness I must be feeling. I know I am sad, I just don’t feel sad. I say I’m sad. I just don’t feel sad. It must be because I know I’m not really leaving. I shall, not by choice, be popping round for exams from time to time and then, any feelings of sorrow will be overshadowed by nervousness and panic. Even then, I’ll still pass by every once in a while. I hope.

*Exams coming up. I might have to use my computer for more productive activities. Pray I do well. The future of many mentally unstable people depend on it.