Friday, 26 October 2012

[2nd] Placed

Placement hospitals have been released so we all know where we're going to be spending the next 3 years (and potentially first 'real' jobs).

I'm going to try and refrain from mentioning my placement hospital by name for confidentiality reasons, but let's say it was my second choice. Not that that is really a problem, I think my first choice would have given me better trauma experience, but I'll still get to see plenty of variety with my post.

A bonus is that I'll be able to have a lie in! For half of the academic year I won't need to get up at 5am! Doesn't sound much but I'm sure actually getting home at tea time will make all the difference...

We've started seeing the clincal mentors during the pracitcal sessions so I'm sure I'll get to meet mine soon, hopefully I'll make a good impression and remember everything we've learnt so far!


Today's Shower Song : Blow Me (One Last Kiss) by Pink

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Ar$e From My Elbow

Anatomy, 'yeah great!' I thought, a chance to get hands on and learn something new. Something physical that we can feel is the start of this journey to enable us to see through clothes and skin, down to the bones! Yep, I want to be able to look at someone and see their skeleton :-)
The first lesson started with the hand and wrist, I was quite suprised to learn there were quite a few bones in the tiny space. It remains to be seen whether I can retain all of the bone names, joint spaces, names of fractures, ligament attachment points etc,'s no wonder radiographers start seeing skeletons everywhere! Next week - the rest of the arm!
Today's Shower Song : Finally by CeCe Peniston

Thursday, 11 October 2012

I Get The Point

Today I had another of my jabs to ensure I'm fully covered for some of the sticky situations I may find myself in. It's all starting to feel real now, especially now that we've been warned of the risks of needle sticks and such like. Oh well, I guess it's all part of the job and as long as we keep ourselves covered then we'll be fine...


Today's Shower Song : Don't Dream It's Over by Crowded House

Monday, 1 October 2012

E=MC Battered Head

Physics, I guess you either love it or hate. Or is that understand it or don't have a clue.

Well, I knew there was going to be quite a bit of physics involved in this course, it kind of goes without saying that Radiography is very science focused. I think I have a sciencey orientated brain, after all, working with computers meant I had to think in 'numbers' a lot.

I'm finding that the physics we're being taught is taxing my brain a bit, yeah I understood all the concepts and theory, but I think remembering the equations is going to be tricky. 

What make's things worse is that my younger, fresher classmates aren't having a problem with any of this, most of them having learnt all of this at school or college just last year. But at least I'm not alone, us 'old ones' are sticking together and battling through it. We'll be fine, I'm sure...


Today's Shower Song : Summer of '69 by Bryan Adams

Friday, 21 September 2012

Week 1. Done.

As the title suggests that is the first week over for me. Yes, my first Friday off, result. Well, kind of, I'm going to a wedding so not the lie in I was hoping for.
OK, a short review of the week - there have been several 'welcome' talks, most of which were irrelevant to me as they focused on keeping safe, looking after your health by monitoring your alcohol intake, what to do if you're homesick and where to go to party. There was also the expected library tour and it seems they haven't changed much since I was 'a lad'.
I've been pretty impressed by the fresh faces of the youthful members of team radiography each morning, or they've learnt of new ways to hide student party hangovers quickly.
We got a taste of what is to come in our first anatomy class, being asked to identify where all the thoracic and abdominal organs are and told in no uncertain terms we will succeed or be off the course before we know it.
The group is slowly starting to mix although there is still a slight division between us 'oldies' and 'the kids' (I must get out of the habit of calling them that). I'm trying my best to make headway here but I still haven't had an invite to a freshers party :-)
Oh yeah, small problem with my commute on my second day. A late bus meant I missed my train which led to an hour and a half wait at the station and me getting to my uniform fitting 45 mins late. I'm just glad it happened in this first week. I've learnt my lesson and now get out of bed at 4.50am for a 9.30am lesson. I'm going to be tired!

Today's shower song: Driftwood by Travis

Monday, 17 September 2012

First Day Over

There'll be many blogs out there today with posts very similar to this one - my first day marking the beginning of the next 3 years of my life is over.
How did it go?
As you'd expect there wasn't any work to be done, only a registration session enabling me to collect my ID card - which incidentally, gives you VAT free purchases in the canteen and bar (although sadly, not on booze). I'm already on chatting terms with the bar-lady after having to drink copious amounts of coffee between sessions, I'm sure I'll be seeing a lot more of her too!
I'm still only provisionally registered as apparantly my clinical visit form needs to be verified, considering the Uni received it sometime in March or April, I feel it may have been lost.
And then there was the 'ice breaker' class, (these always make me nervous) an informal introduction to the course, the lecturers and each other. It helped I recognised a few faces from FB immeadiately and the course tutors kept it very informal - 'genitals in a mincer' was a phrase used to great effect during the 2.5hr session.
There seems to be a good mix of age ranges and experience in the group and although it's early days, I think I'll be able to get on with everyone and with an almost 1:4 male/female ratio (better than I was expecting) I'm sure us lads will be able to hold our own :-)
Tomorrow we get measured up for uniforms, so I'm heading home to dig out my best pair of pants!
Today's shower song: Mama Do Hump by Rizzlekicks

Friday, 14 September 2012

My Shoes Get An Airing

This week has seen the last of my climbing for a while, until I'm settled into my new Uni routine at least.

This comes at a bad time for me as I was just starting to get back into my stride following a major route change at Sunderland Wall. I was doing fine until the route change, climbing at about f6, took a couple of weeks off, which is often a bad idea anyway, but when I went back I found I was struggling to climb some f5's! I then discovered there had been some complaints that the routes were too technical, it was at this time that I learnt a different route setter had been used and it appears his idea of font grades were very different to everyone elses.

Rather than complain until they were reset, I saw this as a personal challenge to up my game and keep at these routes to regain my original position. I finally made it this week, climbing two f6a+ routes (which I actually found easier than the f6a climbs). 

Last Climbing Session

Finally cracked an f6a+

What to do now? Hopefully, I'll be back before another reset to try the same climbs again and get back to the same stage. Or maybe they will be reset by someone else and I'll find I can climb f7 or higher! :-)

Today's shower song: The Lazy Song by Bruno Mars

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Who's the BOSS?

Today I took another small step forward in the laborious process of filling out the online application for my NHS bursary (BOSS). It has seemed to take ages to get to the point where I've left it, but I couldn't quite finish it for the sake of my sanity. I'm now upto the point where I need to send in evidence from my last 4 years of employment. This obviously isn't easy for someone as disorganised as I am. No matter how much I've looked I can't find my most recent P60's. Well, after a long call with HMRC they've agreed to send out statements so that I can forward them to the NHS Busary team.

I also have to provide details of my Fiancee's income (as the grant is means tested). She's a fully qualified Radiographer so needless to say our finances are already tight. Despite the fact that we don't have any savings and pretty much live hand to mouth, I'm pretty sure we won't be entitled to much. Don't you just love the government, on the one hand they help by paying tuition fees, but on the other hand everything else is so expensive that it is very difficult to make the commitment to further study when you have the responsibilities of a 'normal life'. I'm sure we'll get through it, as well as saving for a wedding, but there'll be many who don't and fall by the wayside, having to give up on their dreams.

What are your experiences of the busary/grant system - good or bad?

Today's shower song: Michael Jackson - Billy Jean

Monday, 3 September 2012

As Fresh As A Dasiy?

Today has the seen the announcement of the Freshers Week wristband for the Uni of Cumbria. Now this is a new concept to me, during my first time at Uni I seem to remember that all we had to do was grab a flyer as we walked from pub to pub to find out what was going on. It appears that (like everything) Freshers Week has become big business over the last 15years or so.

I don't think I fancy spending £27 for the priviledge of a programme, I think I'll just wait to see what's going on and turn up to whatever I feel like. I'm sure that those who spend the money will find it benefits them for the late night 'activities' that take place, however, as I'm likely to find myself being disgruntled by the train network at about 5pm I just don't think it'll be worth it.


And besides, I'm far too much of a grumpy old fart to be taking part in Freshers Week :-)

Today's shower song: Roxanne by The Police

Friday, 31 August 2012

We'll Be Back

I spent last weekend up in Fort William. Along with a few friends I was acting as support for the Love Hope Strength Foundation for the inaugural Ben Nevis Rocks event. Friday night was Gig Night in which Mike Peters, formerly of The Alarm played a few songs before finishing with a candle-lit song in the grounds of Old Inverlochy Castle. A 5am start on Saturday saw us walking up the Tourist Path, myself to within a couple of hundred feet of The Bens summit encouraging 150 charity walkers along the way. Then I sat for an hour in the cold and clag to ensure no-one wondered down onto five-finger gully. Although long, it was successful day by all accounts, with only 4 people not summiting (plus myself :-s).

With a day to ourselves on Sunday it was decided that myself, John and Stewie would have a go at climbing the 14 pitch Observatory Ridge (VDiff, 550m) on the North Face of The Ben. At 10am we left the Glen Nevis car park and were ready to climb by 12. The route description we had was next to useless and after opting for the alternative start we found ourselves taken far longer per pitch than we anticpated, and this was only by the time we finished pitch 2! We knew we'd be in for a very dark finish and the cloud wasn't showing any signs of disappearing, therefore we made the decision to abseil off the route with a renewed enthusiasm to come back and tackle it again, beginning at a much earlier time.

Pitch 1 (Alternative Start) of Observatory Ridge

Pitch 1 (Alternative Start) of Observatory Ridge

Today's shower song: Push It by Salt-n-Pepa

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Monday, 20 August 2012

What's it all about...

Well, here we are at the beginning of a newly setup blog. Why? Because I want to try and give an insight in to what a radiography student does day to day.  Because I want to post snippets of my climbing antics to track my own progress. Because I want to see if I get bored of this.

Firstly, I see a few questions from potential rad students asking what goes on during the course, what the placements are like etc. I'm hoping to answer a few of those questions from a new student perspective. As a mature student my views may be slightly different from the "young'uns", but as I've been to Uni in the past, I do have an idea of what it's like to be naive and thrown in the deep end with a load of strangers, never mind being expected to work hard for the first time.

Climbing...I enjoy hanging from the end of a rope, although this tends to be indoors, I do get outdoors from time to time, but my student funds to let this happen too often. I'm not a graceful or technical climber, it's a hobby I enjoy. I'd like to see through the life of this blog that my climbing shows signs of improvement, but also record how rad student life and adulthood impact how my 'free' time.

So, let's see how long this lasts and whether we make it to the top together!