I’m sure you’ve had THOSE DAYS… when one too many doctor has given you the evil eye, when you have given a stupid answer and looked like the class dunce, when you are considering leaving med school for good to work at the furthest McDonald’s…
If you haven’t, you’re probably still in your first two years.
If you think you are a bad medical student, I’d like to cheer you up. If you have never attempted the following, you have a semblance of common sense:
1. Attempted to draw blood from the deltoid muscle*
2. Poked a patient three times in order to fill three blood tubes*
3. Attempted a femoral blood draw and ended up with urine
These are actual events which took place with actual third year students (disclaimer: not me!). I am happy to report that even they learned from these experiences and are now thriving fourth years. Also note that I am not denying the difficulty of clinical skills. Many a poor patient had to agonise through my attempts to draw blood. But there is a difference between poor technique and poor thought.
So, no matter how stupid you feel… you’ll be okay. I think.
* In the manner one injects the deltoid. When no vein is visible.
** As opposed to drawing a single syringe full and dividing the blood into the tubes. This is not applicable if you are doing a septic workup, which requires two to three blood samples from separate sterile sites.