23 May 2014

Level 2 draws to a close

It's finally, almost over.

This year has been HARD, for several reasons that were not apparent when I signed up last year.

1. Biology and history of medicine SOUND like they might be similar. One is human biology, one is how we got as far as acquiring that knowledge. Well, nope. Doing a science course is so utterly different to an essay based course, it utterly threw me to begin with. I also didn't realise how much chemistry content would be in biology, which was my own stupid naivety.

2. I got WAY less free time than I was expecting as my eldest didn't start full time school until Easter.

3. The spacing of TMAs was more of a struggle than I thought. I ended up spending several weeks on history, then two weeks on biology, frantically trying to catch up.

However, I'm done and these are my results:
SK277                                               A218
I'm a bit disappointed with that 72%, but it doesn't alter my OCAS, so I shall HOPE FOR THE BEST in my exam. SK277 doesn't care what my TMA scores are, it's all on the exam, which is...annoying.

My exams are on 3rd and 5th June, which is alarmingly close. It's easier to revise science than history, coz in history I'm going to have to reason and argue why I think things happened. At least science doesn't argue with you...often. So wish me luck!

ETA: My last TMA has been regraded to 77%, bringing my OCAS up to 80%. HUZZAH!

8 May 2014

How To Save A Life - UPDATED

When I was five, I fell through a window and lacerated my arm really badly. I still have some problems with it, and have always been grateful to the wonderful NHS for preserving my hand function. However, when discussing the accident yesterday, I realised I should be equally, if not more, grateful to my dad and neighbour for the first aid they administered immediately afterwards. They held my arm up, to stop the blood pumping out, then carefully put the skin back and bandaged it in place, without disturbing all the glass in it. If my dad hadn't had industrial first aid training, or my neighbour not known how to dress a wound, the glass in the wound could have severed my artery and killed me, or irreversibly damaged the mechanics of my arm and hand requiring amputation. The use of sterile cloths and bandages probably stopped any infection getting in. As it is, my ulnar nerve is has some impairment and I get a lot of weakness, but I can use my hand and arm without noticeable disability.

On a less severe note, when my eldest son was 18 months old, he pulled a freshly poured cup of boiling water onto his head. I got him out of his clothes, straight under cold water and he didn't get a single blister.

First aid saves lives. I have been to a lot of first aid training courses, because they are mandatory when you work in a doctor's surgery, even for administrative staff. The first aid courses I have been on have focused on getting professional help as fast as possible, and CPR. As parents, you hope you will never have to perform CPR on your infant or child, but it is useful to know how to do it, in the awful event that it happens. Simpler first aid such as burn management, wound management, head injury management, knowing what to do in the case of a sudden collapse or seizure, is not generally taught. If I had my way, it'd be part of PSE development in secondary school, but I am not yet the leader of the free world.

As parents, we rarely plan to have to deal with a serious incident. We deal with small lacerations, bumps and bruises, superficial burns, occasional choking, and hope A&E can help if something worse happens. In our first aid kit at home, we have plasters of all shapes and sizes, rolls of bandage, micropore surgical tape, antibacterial wipes, a thermometer, some piriton (as my eldest occasionally comes out in hives for no reason), and all manner of painkillers. But having a well stocked first aid kit isn't enough if you don't know what to do with it.

If you don't know what you would do if your child was bleeding severely, unconscious, having a seizure, or not breathing, the NCTSt John's Ambulance, and The Red Cross all offer first aid information and courses for parents.

St John's Ambulance have also introduced a new campaign on choking. You can find information here.