Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The flooded pond

We're the last week in the first month of spring, and it's still cold, rainy and windy like winter. Apparently we've had the coldest Perth winter in the last 20 years.  Everyone is shaking their head, most of us have had enough of the cold and wind!

The pond nearby has flooded with all the winter rain. Rob and Jimmy stand on the edge, gazing. We warn him about not riding through the footpath which is completely covered with water.

But my Water-Dragon-son is a water boy, born in the year 2012. He roams over woods and rides through muddy puddles like a true water dragon   ;)

Monday, September 26, 2016

Anaesthetist or anaesthetic tech?

Sometimes I feel like I'm almost studying to be an anaesthetist and not just an Anaesthetic Technician. It definitely shows in my lack of blogging, any free time I have is constantly filled with reading.

Even though the course was converted from a Cert IV and became a diploma this year, I didn't really think it would be that hard. It's only TAFE!

Units such as "CHCDIV001 - Work with diverse people" and "CHCPRP003 - Reflect on and improve own professional practice" are your typical standard requirements for jobs these days, as are OHS etc. Content is dragged out - eg 3 hours on a Tuesday, over 4 weeks. I think a 3-hour presentation would have done the job.

So it's not the depth of the course but the breadth which is a pain.

Being the guinea pigs/lab rats for this course means that a lot of the content assessment is still being trialled. All the work is open book - a surefire way to get people on to Google to do their assignments. Some of the assignment questions are worded really really badly, and the format of assessments means we aren't learning effectively - we are just looking for the answers on the internet. You'll find a few lectures where we're reading straight off a website on the internet ... could've stayed home to do that very same thing.

And then we're told about "really useful" books to get - which aren't on the course requirements. The only 2 books which I bought earlier this year were:

Peter McLoughlin's book (on the right) "Textbook for the Anaesthetic Assistant" is awesome - most of the students would agree with this. It's very relevant to the study and work, not too complicated and easy to read. (The only thing we would like to see is an index....)

So even though the course isn't that hard, there's a LOT of work, due to there being 17 units (see course outline here at Mt Lawley TAFE). Spread out over 2 semesters, that's about 6-8 units per semester, over 3 full days a week.

Some of the units are very hands-on but I still don't think there is enough regular prac work set up every week. We've run though IV cannulation and setting up drips maybe twice. Will we be involved in cannulation? No. Is it good to get an idea of how it's done? Definitely. Would I want to do it? Don't think so.

Recently we've done things like simulated epidurals on oranges and apples. Again, not our job but definitely a good feel for what's involved.

Learning about tracheostomy and having a look at a kit is the best that we can do, it's a real balance with getting hands-on and what the real thing is going to be like .....

A recent assessment which consumed all our time meant that I've been researching (read: Googling and looking for answers) things like

local anaesthetic toxicity, regional blocks, major vascular surgery, cleft lip palate, invasive central lines, patient positioning, cross clamping and unclamping of aorta and other major blood vessels, hypovolemic shock, massive blood loss, external pacing

There is definitely not enough time in the world for me to really understand and for the info to sink in, I'm torn between wanting to learn about everything properly, and just getting enough information for the assignment and move on.

Here lies the dilemma. The level of knowledge that's expected of us at a Diploma level seems to be at cross-purposes with the way we're being assessed. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Paint your letterbox

What do you do when you have leftover paint and want to do a bit of a clean-out ....?

Paint the letterbox!!!


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