One quarter of the way to becoming a doctor, and 6 weeks into the 2nd year of ScotGEM (Scottish Graduate Entry Medicine), I have finished up in Dumfries & Galloway (D&G) and started in Inverness in the Scottish Highlands. As with 1st year, I have been based in a local GP practice each week but with the added experience of hospital exposure with a variety of different placements.
As our first block this year has been ‘Birth & Early Years’, we have had some experience across obstetrics, paediatrics and neonates. While I have genuinely enjoyed my time in D&G, the best experiences I had during my time there were in my neonatal placements, where I was able to see two emergency neonatal intubations. One of them occurred just as I was about to help clerk in a new patient when the call came through that an extremely preterm baby had unexpectedly been delivered and was en route to the hospital. I was able to go with the team to A&E, observe their management of the baby in the resus bay and the preparation required to intubate the patient – and finally the successful intubation and umbilical catheterisation. I was able to help as well by recording times drugs were delivered and when readings were taken, but most crucially I was on hand to silence the incredibly irritating, piercing alarm one of the machines kept making every minute (which I was genuinely thanked for when everything had been stabilised and the drama was over).
I was so impressed with how calm everyone was, how tasks were designated clearly and how much skill each member of the team demonstrated in making sure this baby could have the best outcome possible. It was amazing to get this experience, to feel a part of the team and useful in some small ways and to see where the skills I am being taught right now could eventually lead to in the future. However, with not one – but two – intubations occurring when I was on the ward in such a short space of time, I think everyone is quietly happy that ‘intubation guy’ has moved to the other side of the country, for now.