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As I nearly complete my first-year hospital placements, I would like to share what has transpired over the weeks of daily challenges amid the current global pandemic, where stricter safety regulations need to be adhered to. I have had a glimpse into the real world and realised how flexible I would have to be in dealing with various types of people. I have dealt with difficult patients and learned how to handle these situations through acquired experience and from the support of colleagues. It was clear that one of the major challenges was trying to build patients trust and in order for me to do that, I would have to work in partnership with them and respect their rights to privacy and dignity while carrying myself in a professional manner. Additionally, establishing a good rapport with patients is highly important because this breaks the initial barrier between us and allows us to engage effectively with them to gain relevant information and help direct their care. With regards to my studies, it was so vital to actually see and apply what I have been taught in the classroom in a clinical setting, as it gave me a major boost in confidence and reaffirmed my belief that I am heading in the right direction. In my first hospital placement, the staff were really supportive and helped me build my skills to complete my portfolio that includes practising venepuncture, cannulation, ECG, history-taking, and examinations. Implementing these skills and improving on them prepared me well for my second placement, where I was given more responsibilities by the doctors who have assigned different patients to look after on a daily basis. This would involve helping the doctors on ward rounds by reading the patients medical records and taking down notes. If so required, I would also take a detailed history of the patient and carry out the appropriate examinations to have a clear idea of the patient's presenting complaints. This case would then be presented and discussed with the consultant before we jointly see the patients and develop a management plan that I should ensure is being adhered to and subsequently complete these tasks under the supervision of the doctors. Working closely with the doctors, I was able to observe and learn how they deal with patients, their examination techniques, and clinical reasoning skills. This experience has given me a clear idea of the important relationship between doctors and Physician Associates, with a common objective to administer the best possible care to the patient. This also showed me how the trust improves as I develop and get used to carrying out the work that is expected of me, for which I am grateful. Ultimately, this experience has further strengthened my belief that I have chosen the right career path and I am looking forward to my next clinical placement.

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