Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Sunny Sunny Day :)

When I first met the property agent a month ago, it was a sunny day too. And he told us to savor the sunlight, and do all the outdoor activity we want.
But that was only my 2nd day in UK so I was like, "Sunlight? I had plenty of those in Malaysia. 8 hours a day at least. I am not really bothered, yet"

A couple of weeks later, I began to miss the hot sun. It rained almost everyday! And my clothes just won't dry. Even if they do, they'll get cold after 2 days in the cupboard. I had to fight all the "trembles" every time I put on a new, clean piece of cloth.
And I took every chance I got to walk under the sun.
Back in Malaysia, I used an umbrella to cover myself from the sun. Hahah...

The weather forecast however, showed that this week will be a sunny week, alhamdulillah.
And today was indeed a sunny, bright beautiful day.
I challenged myself to not wear my coat outside, and I didn't regret (unlike previous days).

Not only the day was bright and beautiful, the first simulation class we had was fun too.
Apparently, the hospital invested on 4 simulated mannequins. They are of different sizes and age, and can be set to different basal physiology state. They can be an old 82 y.o lady, or a young 25 y.o lad. They blink, breath, talk, pee, poo and vomit. All that depends on what we did to them.

These simulation mannequins are for our educational purposes (obviously).
The classes will be conducted in a such a way that we are supposed to act as doctors, attending to a patient with a certain disease and physiological state. We have to treat the mannequin just like how we treat a real being. The blood pressure can drop, and the heart might stop. We can defibrillate the mannequin, we can put cannula in them, catheterise them, do an ECG on them, drain the fluid in their lungs, bore a hole on their tracheas, cut their abdomens open and perform a laparotomy or even remove their uterus.

And when we prescribe any drug to the mannequin, it'll react to the drug as close to how a human being will react to the drug as possible.

We may save the mannequin from a cardiac arrest.
Or we may kill the mannequin. If we did, the technician will just reset the mannequin, and it'll start blinking and breathing again.
Amusing eh?
We were told that it is totally okay to kill the mannequin, as long as we know what went wrong, so that we'll nvr repeat it.

This is Medical Engineering, so it is called.
If a mannequin that's used for educational purposes can be this awesome, I wonder what kind of robots are there outside? Robots used for business purposes, tradings, A.I etc?

The technicians and doctors operating the Simulation Suite promised us that our sessions with them will be stressful, because that's what we signed up for. A career that deals with human lives, so to speak. And I cant wait to kill my first mannequin (horrible me).

And on our way back home, we dropped by a public library! Interestingly, the library does not require any of our identification. They do not need our passports or even student cards to register as a member. And all 4 of us are members of Lancashire Libraries now. We can borrow up to 20 things (books, DVDs etc) for 3 weeks. And the best part is, the library is located right in front of the bus stop to the hospital.


With this, goodnight!

-Because life is a test-

Monday, September 26, 2011

Thank You IMU!

To any of my IMU juniors or, juniors who are coming into IMU and have the intention to continue into Univ of Manchester (UoM), I have one advise for you. Study well peeps!

Because if you study well in IMU, insyaAllah you wont have a hard time here, because IMU has prepared you enough.
Heh.. Sound like a boast.
No, this is not a boast.
I have to admit first, I did not study hard in IMU, I studied just enough.

Here in UoM, if you are coming directly into third year, like I did, you'll be meeting the students who have been studying in UoM for the past 2 yrs, and St Andrew's students, and some basic science degree holders who wish to take up Medicine.
The students who were from UoM were never exposed to clinical skills and so, the clinical skills classes here start from the very basic, general inspection that is.
But since IMU made us go for clinical skills since first year, the classes here are kind of repetitive.
St Andrew's students, they have been exposed to clinical skills, and OSCE.

So, IMU students can take their time to adapt to the environment, weather and people, for the classes can be considered a form of revision.
So I really am thankful to IMU for the vigorous training AND exams ANd history taking sessions.
They are of real help here. At least I do not have to feel intimidated not knowing how to do things, at least I felt a bit of advantage, knowing how to do physical examinations since I lost a lot from not being able to understand their accent, yet. At least I can hold my head up.

But of course, I cannot take the classes too lightly.
If I do, I'll find myself behind everyone after a few months.
By then, I'll have to start the nerve-wrecking practices and study.
I intend to keep my momentum constant this time, I played a lot during the early semesters in IMU. I hope I'll be able to keep up to that motivation.

But frankly, I really need a lot of effort to do that.
Because I've been in front of my laptop surfing the net in every minute of my "free time" since last night.

Btw today, the Malaysian Student Dept (MSD) officer came to our house in Preston.
She is based in Manchester since there are a very big Malaysian community there. She works for the High Commission of Malaysia and the main office is in London. She visited us, and brought sup daging, meehoon and fried chicken! We cooked rice and I heat up some of the left over chicken soup and we had a splendid lunch :)

Thanks Ms Aribah :)
We invited some of our batchmates too, it was a mini gathering today.

Good Morning Malaysia!

-Because life is a test-

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Internet, at Last!

Bear with me for a second......

Thank God!!!!!
Internet is here!!!


The technician from Virgin Media reached our house at approximately 3pm today.
He took less than 30 mins to set everything up and our house is now officially not-outdated :p

But since I really had to go out to buy some food, I delayed my internet surfing, just yet.
Kiew and I went out on an adventure; we bought a day-rider bus ticket, which gave us access to all PrestonBus buses the whole day.
So today we took buses without knowing the actual route, to know where the buses can get us :)

Guess what? We had an experience while in one of them!


I did not notice it at first, but after a minute on the bus, I realised that the bus was really filthy. The floor was full of used tickets, empty cans and bottles rolling everywhere each time the bus turns, stops or start moving. And then only I remembered seeing a group of young boys terrorising the seats at the back of the bus when I got in.

They were very noisy, and kinda intimidating and annoying at the same time. They are the type of people I do not want to mess with, for they fear nothing only when there are many of them. And there were 10 of them.
At one point, I think they were trying to do a breakdance on the bus (I wonder how) with a very loud music on one of the phones.

The driver suddenly stopped the bus at the bus stop and yelled at them, telling them to either stop the music and behave or get out of the bus. They yelled back, saying they are not getting off because they paid. But they turned off the music. Then the lady bus driver started driving. After 30 seconds, they restarted the music, slowly and then louder until the bus driver stopped again and yelled at them. Of course, they rebelled but they turned off the music, again.

Once the driver started driving again, they turn on the music, louder than ever and started to make noise. It was very tensed in the almost empty bus. There were only me and Kiew, about 5 other passengers and 10 of them at the back. The driver kept quiet but started driving faster, making an almost 90˚ turn at junctions. Then the boys went a step further and started screaming in the bus. They were saying something like not wanting to get down of the bus, and what can the bus driver do if they refused to get down and things like that.

I felt like turning my heads to them and shoot them a warning look, I'm quite sure they are younger than I am. But then, I'd better not be reckless. I shd just sit quietly there. I started to imagine, should the situation get worse and they wrecked havoc in the bus and the police is involved, I'd give 1000% of my commitment to be the witness on how the boys started it.

The driver pulled off at a bus stop, and ordered them to get off. This time, I'm sure she wasn't just warning them, she meant it. The boys refused, they continued talking out loud, in sentences I can't understand (10 ppl talking at once, too many sound waves to be interpreted).
The driver took out her mobile and called someone. She reported (loudly) the vehicle's registration number and our location.

The boys murmured "police", "help", "reported".
Then they came down, one by one. That was when Kiew counted and found out there were 10 of them.
3 of them waited to talk to the driver, I was not sure what they said to her but I am sure it was not compliments nor appreciations.

They crossed the road and when the bus started moving, surprisingly they started to throw stones at us. One of the stones hit the body of the bus. Fortunately, none of the stone hit the mirror, or my imagination might just come true. And since I was sitting at the side where I'll be badly hit IF the stone hit the mirror, I stopped breathing when I saw them started to cover their faces with their jackets and collecting stones from the ground.

Then, the bus went further from them.
What an experience eh?

Then I rmembered Malaysia.
It's not like we do not have naughty boys there. We do, too.
It's not that we do not have people who are only brave when they are in groups. We do, too.
It's just that, I don't think our naughty boys wrecked havoc in public, as in terrorising a bus, train or the road.
They dared not, I think.

My Study and Internet

Today is 24th Sept 2011. I reached London on 24th August 2011.
That means I am already here for a month!
Time flies! I have 11 + 12 + 12 = 35 months to go (talk about countdowns).

But anyway, this also means I did not have proper internet access for the past one month, and really, I shd be able to study more since there is no distractions.

But guess what, I did not.
At first, there was no study table.
Then I bought a study table.

Then the cold came.
Everytime I sit on the chair, I found myself shivering after 30 minutes.
By the 40th minute, I'll tuck myself under my duvet and started reading.
5 minutes after that, I am asleep.

It is very very cold here that I find hot (not just warm) water a kind of sweet suffering.
We do not switch on the heater in the house because we are afraid of the gas bill, and we're trying to save as much as we can before winter.

And now, my internet is here.
I am afraid it'll distract me even more and I'll study even less.

And ironically, I can sit at my table for more than 2 hours, surfing the net (that was what I've been doing since dinner tonight), still shivering but without feeling the need to go under the duvet. Turns out the cold is more an excuse than a reason to read on the bed.
Talk about double standard, I AM being unfair towards my laptop and books.

Ok, gotta sleep now.
Goodnight UK! And good morning Malaysia!

-Because life is a test-

Thursday, September 22, 2011

No More A Nurse

I am now, again in Education Centre 2, Royal Preston Hospital.
Virgin Media has not come to install our broadband yet, I spent £1 calling the customer service and they said the technician will come this Saturday btw 1-6pm. My hsemates and I will make sure we are only a few steps away from the door at that time, should they come and failed to see the doorbell and decided to knock the door instead.

I've just got back from my usual ward placement, as a "nurse shadow" in Chorley Hospital. And thank God today was my last day. It is not that I dislike being a nurse, just that I disliked being unoccupied. I walked up and down the Medical Assessment Unit (M.A.U) most of the time, because the nurses do not know what to ask me to do. I tried to really tail a nurse, but she was doing almost the same thing all over again, and while it is boring enough to do the same thing everyday, what more observing people do it.
But anyway, when they give me task to do, like serving meals, changing bedsheets etc, I do them happily (i think).

M.A.U is the unit the patients sent after being seen by A&E doctors (if they came from there) or after being referred to by a GP. In M.A.U, the patients will be assessed and transferred to the appropriate wards, Gastroenterology, Cardiology, Psychiatry etc, or they might even be discharged if they are well enough. So really, we get all sorts of patients in there, from diarrhoea to urinary tract infection to confusion in an old lady to a massive headache. It is interesting to read their clinical notes etc, and follow the ward rounds by the doctors, and see how doctors interact with the patients etc. But then again, I reminded myself that I should not be following a doctor, I am thr to shadow a nurse. And so when the doctors were doing their rounds, I was pushing an old lady to the bathroom, or changing a bedsheet, or just staring out the window because the nurse I'm tailing is going thru the medication chart.

There was a very old lady, came in with some kind of infection, and the doctor advised her son to consent to a "Do Not Actively Resuscitate" (DNAR). That means, shd the lady goes into a cardiac arrest, CPR will not be performed, seeing her fragile condition, the compression during CPR might just injure her more. So I really pitied her, she is not in palliative care just yet, just that she was very weak.
This morning, I went to her bed and stared at her, trying to figure out what she might be thinking or feeling. She saw me, and started mumbling. I cant really catch what she said, she didnt speak in full sentences, neither did she speak clearly.

"Thank you for everything.

When we first met.............

I love you very much........

I'll never see you again....."

Those were the bits and pieces I managed to catch, and I think she mistook me as someone else. But it was as if she was talking to a lot of people at once, as if she's seeing lots of people. At first she sounded like she was talking to her mother, and then to her spouse. I can't really make up what she said.
In the end, I patted her hand and walked out of the room, feeling very horrible seeing how a person's health can deteriorate to that extent. Sooner or later, someone we know, or perhaps we ourselves will be in that condition. Kinda frightening I hv to admit.

Anyway, since today is my last day, I have to give a feedback form for the nurse in charge to fill in, some sort of evaluation on me for the past 4 days. Guess what, she gave me a 3 out of 5 for everything! Haishh.. Give la 4 at least, I know I'm not up to a 5. But then....a 3 for evrything? :(
But nvrmind la, I know I did not really do well, because unlike in Malaysia, I do not know anything about the healthcare system here.

I really hv a lot more to say but I'll just stop here for now.
Gotta go back and prepare dinner.
Phew, I am a big girl now, preparing meals for myself, no more maid to do the cooking and washing for me. Hahaha...

-Because life is a test-

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My First Two Days as A Nurse

Huh? Nurse?
Well yes... An "Interprofessional Experience" (IPE) they called it.
We are to shadow a nurse for 4 days during our Introductory to Clincal Learning (ICL) week.
Why are we shadowing a nurse, not a pharmacist, a physiotherapist, or a radiographer, or any other profession in the hospital?
Well I think it is because the lead for this ICL week is a nurse, and so are her team members.

So my IPE started yesterday, and surprisingly I was sent to Medical Assesment Unit, Chorley Hospital!
Fortunate enough, they provide an hourly shuttle bus between Chorley and Preston Hospitals.
The earliest bus is at 7.20am and I had to start walking out of house at 6.40am, which means I have to get up at 5.30am, which means I have to sleep at 10pm (yes, I still want to sleep 7hrs a day). The journey took approx 25mins.

I was supposed to wear my scrubs at all time, I was given two pairs of it two weeks ago.
I foolishly, carelessly brought two pairs of pants instead of a top and a bottom. So I wore my scrub pants, with a black tshirt. Duh! Looked vry weird but, so what? ;p
And the first thing they asked me to do was, serve breakfast.
I had no clue how to start doing, I've nvr even seen someone serving breakfast in a UK ward. In fact, that was my first time being in a UK ward.
Then came my batchmate, he's a local. He took the trolley and started putting in coffee, sugar and milk into the cups.

Apparently, we hv to ask the patients if they want coffee or tea for breakfast. And if they want sugar, the amount of sugar they want, and if they want it mixed with milk.
I felt like a stewardess.
"A strong coffee, with two sugars please"

Then I was asked to do something else.
The nurse told me, "Strip the beds".
And I was like, what?
Strip the beds? How? Up to which layer? There are many bedding layers. Do I strip them all of?
Do they change the beddings every morning? Or do I strip only the vacant beds, preparing for a new patient?
The nurses looked vry busy that they started speaking vry fast to a point that I swear I cant understand them. I hate the accent. So even if I go and ask them, I wont understand their instructions.

One of the patient was on her chair, and I went to ask her if they nurses change the beddings everyday. She then started showing me how to change the bedsheets. Hahaha... I guess she's a regular there. While I was halfway stripping the bed, the nurse came in and started doing the bed nxt to me. I then started imitating her... Fuh! No grave error done.

And let me just stop here or I will start boring the readers to death.
That's all for now, I gotta go back and cook dinner.
Oh my, I am cooking dinner for myself now.
That's a success!
Wanna know an even greater success?
I cooked 3 whole chickens, lemak cili api for the latest open house.
I can't believe myself.

With that, adios!

-Because life is a test-

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Says Who They Are Better?

Greetings from Preston! :)

I am now in Royal Preston Hospital, the hospital I will be based in for the next 3 years.
Evrytime I tell ppl I am in the hospital, they'll start "What??!!! Why are u in the hospital??"
Haha... No, I did not get myself injured, or had a homesick fever or anything along that line. It's just that I will be spending more than half of my time in a hospital setting from now on.

People say the Western countries are more developed bcos the people work hard, and serious. I am not sure abt the seriousness in work bit, but Msians at least, are more hardworking!
In Msia, the salesgirl work 9.30 am to 11 pm! Why? Bcos the supermarkets open at 10am and close at 1030pm.
Here, the supermarket opens at 10am and close at 7pm.
As my friends put it, the workers here are lazy, because the workers are very protected here.
Maybe they worked very well during their working hours, I do not know.
But from my experience, they did not really do.

I went to IKEA abt 10 days ago and we put our things for delivery, since none of us drive (I miss my car!).
We went on Sunday, the things were supposed to be delivered on Wednesday, anytime between 9am to 6pm. We hv cls until 230pm so we specifically made a request so that our furnitures are sent after 2.30pm. And they said they'll call an hour or 1.5 hrs before arrival.

At 9+ morning, Ah Kiew phone rang but we were in a small group discussion so she can't pick it up. When we called later during our lunch break, the man said he's from IKEA and he went to our hse and we weren't in. But really, he called only once and didn't even try to call the alternate contact number we gave, which was mine.

So when we asked if he was still nearby, he got angry and hung up. I was so shocked, that was my first time being shouted at by a mat salleh. =.="
When we got home, there was a notice on our front door.


We were so angry bcos obviously he called when he was in front of our house. That means even if Ah Kiew picked up the call, we cant possibly run back home even though our house is just 20mins by bus and walking from the hospital.

So we had to call them back and rearrange the next delivery date.

More than 2 weeks ago, we subscribed to Virgin Media; a telecommunication company, something like P1 W1MAX or Streamyx in Malaysia. And we had to wait for 2 weeks before they can send and install our modem. I do not know if they are going to drill a hole, or just plug the modem and go, but our appointment date was 15th Sept, delivery time will be between 1pm to 6pm.

Syahidah and Kiew's class end at 2.45 while mine ends at 3.45pm. I called and requested so that they come after 3pm. And the customer service operator politely said okay.
Due to that bad experience with IKEA, and my friends' bad experience with IKEA AND Virgin Media, where the people came when no one was in, we were so anxious when 15th Sept finally came.

The first thing that came into my mind that morning was Virgin Media, and internet! The person should call me before coming because the account is under my name. And I've started clinging to my phone tightly, since 10am eventhough they should come only after 1pm (or 3pm if they took note of my request).

Once Syahidah and Kiew's class finished at 2.45, they ran back home to catch VirginM people, we are all so anxious, wanting to avoid another missed schedule since most of our friends missed theirs. At 4pm, I received an sms frm Syahidah, we missed the person. I got so frustrated, this time, he didnt even call me! I held on to my phone, not wanting to let it go, afraid of a missed call and was ready to run back home shd he call and inform he's on his way.

When I got home, I found out that there was not even a note on our door telling us we missed the person. In fact, it was Syahidah who called and asked when is the person coming. The customer srvice said the person came, and we weren't in and so the installation had to be rsecheduled to next Saturday. And that evening, to let out my frustration, I went for a run jog and a walk in the park nearby.

Fortunate enough, that day too I found out that the university has just installed a wireless for us in the hospital. There was no wireless before this. Thank God! So now I am in the hospital, with my laptop.
And I am gonna bring my laptop to the hospital always, for internet.

And so, I concluded.

Malaysian private sector is WAY better than the private sector here. They may talk politely, but they do not necessarily deliver the task logically. Come on, 9 in the morning? People have to work and go to class la, who will be at home? Duh!

I miss Malaysia.

-Because life is a test-

Friday, September 16, 2011

My Manchester Raya

And I purposely make it 16th Sept instead of 17th so that it doesnt interfere with my real 17th Sept post.

Eid Mubarak everyone! :)
I am now in Manchester; Fatin's house. I've been having two consecutive induction days and tomorrow, a dean's meeting. Today was my first raya away from family.
And it didn't feel like raya, except for my green kebaya. Hahaha... What more can I say, we were stucked in Stopford Building (Manchester Med Sch Building) from 11am till 5pm. It was an induction day for the stdnts from IMU, on how to mix well with the stdnts who hv been studying in Manchester med sch since their first year.

A total of 8 IMU seniors came down and briefed us :) That morning, the university provided a free coach for us, from Royal Preston Hospital to Stopford Building. Apparently, it took less than an hour to reach Manchester from Preston.

And after the briefing, we had dinner at Red Chilli, a halal chinese restaurant.
When we got to Fatin's hse, we were so exhausted that we cancelled our plan to go out that night.

The briefing was to teach us IMU students, or Direct Entry students, as they call us on how to survive in Manchester-Preston. Apart from IMU, St Andrew’s 3rd year students will also be joining Manchester Med Sch. So there are two groups of direct entry stdnts.

The next day, the second day of Eid was an induction day for both IMU and St Andrew’s students. It was a 10 to 5 briefing program, which we skipped after lunch. Hahahah.. It was just a normal library introduction, assessments and syllabus, which we have all been briefed abt the day before. And so, as soon as the lunch break started, we went our own ways. I went to collect my council tax exemption letter and student ID card. Guess what, they took our pictures for the card on the spot, without any “photography art”, at all. I looked like an alien in the card! Can’t even make out the linings of my eyes. And it was very dark. Turns out that that is a Mancunian tradition. They don’t really care how ugly our picts in the card is. Fatin and Kiew’s pict were off-centred and half of Kiew’s hair were gone. =.=”

That evening, I went to Chinatown with Kiew! We walked and walked and walked, and referred to the map and asked around, to get to Tai Hu, a chinese restaurant which our senior introduced. Later that night, we went for a beraya! :)
Kak Keena was a student in Preston, and she just got married less than a couple of months ago. She invited us over to her house. The next day, after our very brief dean’s meeting, Fatin, her hsemater; Nida, Kiew and me went to Arndale, a shopping centre in Manchester city. I had sore feet due to my almost broken shoes (they said shoes are cheaper in UK so I resisted buying a new one in Msia). Both Kiew and me got ourselves a new pair of shoes and that evening, we went back to Preston.

And so that’s it. That was my first 3 days of Eid. Didn’t feel like Eid at all, but I can’t complain too much.

-Because life is a test-

Monday, September 12, 2011


I've been deprived from what I consider as one of the most crucial necessities (notice the emphasis), of my life; the internet.

This is gonna be a shot, precise, compact and emotional update, hahahaha...

I am now in the library in the hospital, and they succesfully, evilly, nastily blocked access to yahoomail, and facebook. So I can't read my inbox, and of course my mother's latest reply to me :(

And Diana diana! I wrote my Manchester raya post but it is in my laptop, and I forgot to put it into my pendrive to post it here :( So that raya post might be posted some time end of this week (hope it's not too late).

I've subscribed internet access but unlike Malaysia, the company takes 2 weeks to install the connection into our house! The person in charge shd install it this Thursday, let's hope they do not come while we were in class, and give them another excuse to postpone our installation (happened to us when IKEA delivery came, and happened to our senior's hse too).

I gotta go now.
One thing for sure,
I miss my family.
And I miss Malaysia.

-Because life is a test-