Via my amazing Mum and Super Granny…
19th October 2012 England
I’m Gwennie Porter’s Flat Stanley and I am on an exciting trip to England to visit Gwennie’s Granny. She lives in a pretty little market town called Wimborne near the South Coast. I had a long journey here with lots of delays, but finally got here two days ago! I have been thinking about what I would like to be when I grow up, and one of my ambitions is to become a doctor!! Granny works at The Royal Bournemouth Hospital, which is about 10 miles from Wimborne, and she kindly took me to work with her yesterday to meet the team and find out a bit more about becoming a doctor.
Granny works in the Postgraduate Medical Centre which continues the training of the doctors. They have a fantastic Skills Lab there, where they teach doctors and nurses on some brilliant manikins which look so real. They are worked by computers and can breathe, groan and generally show all the symptoms of real patients. It was very exciting to go and see all of this equipment. Firstly I went into the control room of the lab, where all the computers are. There the tutor can set up scenarios and the doctors in the next room have to diagnose and treat patients and deal with medical emergencies. In the first two pictures you can see me learning how to operate the equipment using a microphone and computer which links me to the lab next door. Then I went into the lab to see what equipment they had. I found a Sim Man lying on a trolley. He is linked to the computer and can be treated as a real patient. It was a bit scary at first seeing him “breathe” and “groan”, but once I got over the shock, I put on my stethoscope and listened to his heart beating ! It was amazing!!!! Then they showed me a simulated baby boy which the doctors practice on to perform various procedures. He looks very real doesn’t he!!!!
There are lots of other pieces of equipment, and I got to practice suturing a cut on an arm. If you look very closely you can see one cut just above the wrist and there is another one which I worked on just to the left of where I am standing! It was very weird working on a limb!!!! Next they showed me a model of a foot which shows all the bones, veins, muscles etc. It was very interesting and I learnt a lot about how a foot works!!!! Next it was time to try out some of the equipment on me! That was very exciting indeed! I was shown how they would insert a drip into my arm and in the photo you can see a saline bag hanging on the drip stand! It tickled a bit when they did that!!!! Next I tried out a piece of equipment to help me breathe – but the mask that goes over the nose and mouth was a bit big for me – cos I am only small!!!!! Next they took my blood pressure. They wrapped a cloth around my arm and pumped it until it was very tight! They said my blood pressure was perfect – so that was a relief!!!! Then they showed me a Heartstart machine, which had lots of leads and dials and would help if I had a heart attack and needed to shock my heart! Thank goodness there is nothing wrong with my heart!!!! It was such an interesting morning learning about all the equipment and getting the chance to try some of it out!!!!!
After all that excitement it was time for a coffee break, so we went into the kitchen and I helped to make the coffee and tea for all the girls. We also had some yummy chocolate chip cookies!!! They were great and I had worked up quite an appetite by then!!!! In Granny’s office I met all her work colleagues. They were very nice to me and we posed for a group photo. They are from left to right: Christine (the boss) Becky, Tricia, Grace, Zoe and seated is Jean. She is a very old lady of 84 and she comes into the office once a week as a volunteer and helps with some of the admin work. She was very sweet and they call her “The Queen Mother” in the office!!!
After our coffee break, they decided I should learn about the fire drill in case of emergencies. If the alarm goes off, all the fire doors close automatically and everyone has to evacuate the building and assemble at various places around the hospital grounds. There are lots of fire extinguishers in the building, and I got chance to inspect them (14). Then the boss took me into her office to meet some very junior Junior Doctors (15) – for once I met some people who were smaller than me!!!!
Then they showed me around the rest of the Centre. There are lots of Seminar Rooms which they use for teaching, a big Conference Room and a Lecture Theatre which seats 100 people. In the entrance foyer there is the bust of someone called Walter Child Clark. He was born in 1844 and was made an Honorary Freeman of Bournemouth in 1923. He helped to set up the original Bournemouth Hospital, which at that time was called The Royal Victoria Hospital and was on a different site. Now the new hospital is very modern and has bright blue roofs – very smart! It also has a big lake with with ducks and swans and lots of seats around so that patients and staff can sit and enjoy the view on nice days.
They asked me if I would like to go into the Lecture Theatre, which was fun. It was a big room and the seats were steeply staggered. You can see me sitting part way up looking rather small!!!! I went on to the lectern where they operate all the equipment for teaching – it was quite exciting! They asked me if I would like to give a talk, so I hopped on to the flip chart and gave a talk on the heart! I was a bit nervous speaking in that huge theatre, but I managed it OK and everyone seemed to enjoy it!!!!
After a long, tiring but exciting day, Granny took me home, where I spent the evening watching TV with Granny’s little puppy Alfie! He is a cute little Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and is almost 5 months old. He gave me lots of licks and we had a nice evening cuddling on the chair! For a little dog, he does snore very loudly when he’s asleep!!!! He’s got lots of squeaky toys, and you can see “Dicky Duck” in the photo of us!!!!!
After a good night’s sleep, it’s time for me to head back to Florida, so I must pack my bags and get ready to catch my flight!
Thank you Granny for a fabulous visit!
Flat Stanley xxx