SSC/ SSP: Rheumatology

SSC/ SSP: SSP
When: 2018
Supervisor: Kate Armon
Where: Addenbrooke’s

Project:
Completed a project looking at patient data and comparing to the literature recommendations. Workload was manageable and given time to work on the project when not in clinic. Got advice from the team but was mostly able to get on with it by myself. Gave a presentation to the department and poster presentation at a European conference.

Clinical:
3-5 clinics a week, some theatre or day patient procedures, weekly MDT

Best Bits:
The team was very friendly and quite small so I got to know them well. Saw children of all ages and varied conditions. Given the chance to do lots of examinations – was an expert on pGALS by the end!

Worst Bits:
Occasionally some niche details, but I think true of most SSP placements!

Contact:
tl381@cam.ac.uk

SSC/ SSP: SSP
When: 2017
Supervisor: Kate Armon
Where: Addenbrooke’s

Project:
I did complete a small project but this was not the focus of my SSP (which was mostly clinical). I did a literature search to see how children on methotrexate who are exposed to varicella zoster
virus should be managed. I received good support, however
I did not get any nice need findings, so I decided not to create a poster or presentation etc from my findings. However, if I had wanted to pursue this further with the team, I am sure I would have received good support.

Clinical:
The paediatrics
rheumatology team at Addenbrookes is very small – two consultants, one registrar and one specialist nurse, and the consultants split their time between Addenbrookes and the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. Therefore, whenever the consultants were running a clinic, I would join them (so I could be in 9-6 on these days). However, perhaps 2 days a week, there weren’t any clinics running and the doctors were at the N&N, so I used these days to do my literature search. 95% of my clinical time was spent in clinic, as paediatric
rheumatology is predominantly an outpatient speciality
. I mostly observed, although I also had many opportunities to examine the patients myself and I became comfortable with the paediatric
GALS exam. I also learned a lot about juvenile arthritis (the most common condition I saw) and dermatomyositis. During my attachment I witnessed a few joints having fluid aspirated – this was done under GA in the young children and using entonox
with the older children, and was very interesting to watch. During the placement
there was also a child admitted to the hospital with Kawasaki disease, and I spent time with the doctors assessing and managing the patient, which was very interesting.

Best Bits:
Super friendly team and I got to see some interesting and rare clinical signs. I became confident with the GALS exam.

Worst Bits:
Paediatric
rheumatology is a very niche specialty, so I only saw a narrow spectrum of diseases, and unless I decide to go into this specialty in the future, a lot of what I learnt
won’t be hugely relevant for my future practice.

Other:
I spent the vast majority of my time in clinic
– if you don’t like clinics this isn’t for you!

Contact:
mariaseago@hotmail.co.uk