#2: Hospital Beat – Jonathan Nicholas

513gg0juc2blHospital Beat by Jonathan Nicholas is a unique view of everyday goings on inside a busy UK hospital.

Despite the complex language and multiple tangents in the story i found it intriguing and an enjoyable way to pass the time on the tube.  I would definitely read Nicholas’ other book sometime soon.

What i loved…

I loved that this book was a different take on typical day in the life books in an NHS setting.  The diary like structure was a great way to get in with the story and bond with the people involved. Each individual story teaches you something new about the underbelly of the NHS.

Rating…

I rate my books in the best way i know how; the number of cups of tea its worth. A book i love to read my sat on the sofa, the train or in bed with my favourite cup of tea; so i felt it was the perfect way to express my love for the books i read. Between 1-3 cups, 3 being the best.

This book was rated:

2 T's

I rated it two cups for the stories that would get you laughing. It was a great incite both into the life of the police and the hospital staff. You here many stories that you don’t think would happen. I found the first few chapters hard to get into and it took me a while to get into the book unlike books of similar formats.

Buy the book here!

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And so it begins…

It was my first day back an uni today and my brain already feels like it is going to explode from all the information i have had to cram into it. My first day back has been spent trying to fix issues.

My dissertation project supervisor has left my university and despite being given a new one. I arrived at todays meeting to be told i had to change my project completely, to something i have never heard of. This means i need to repeat all of my second year research and writing to catch back up to my new topic.

I am also not being given extra time, and will be expected to complete this along side my dissertation lab work and four out of five modules in my first semester…. i think i need a few extra hours in the day!

My first lecture of the year gave me hope; the lecture was interesting and the lack of formal examination and the end of the module makes me very happy. If only all modules went this way. This year i think lectures are the least of my worries, the topics all intrigue me and (so far) the workload seems reasonably balanced and thought out. My only worry is that i am in four days a week, with many modules having two lectures a week. With my second semester only having one day a week of learning i don’t understand why it hasn’t been spread out more…

My first day of Final Year has been a success; I’ve solved problems, developed solutions and jumped straight back into academic life. I only hope i can continue this motivational streak and get things done!

 

Short: Dating and Baking

Life’s picking up the pace again, and I’m adapting to the new environment.

I’m dating again! Its been over 18 months since my last relationship, or talking to any guy. Its a strange feeling to rely and want to share time and space with someone. Part of it comes from my new job, learning new things about myself and being able to be myself all over again. Its the best way to meet new people, and keep up the good habits i’d started when i got my new job.

There is an age gap between us both, its 6 years, which for me is perfect because he’s much more grown up than previous boys I’ve dated and is after a more serious relationship than men my age; which is a requirement for me when dating. But he’s just so much more caring and interested than my past relationships. He holds my hand, offers my his arm when we walk and all ways tells me I’m beautiful; its the little things really, but i know I’m safe and secure with him. Knowing this makes it so much easier for me to be myself.

…he had a way of taking your hand which made it clear he’d have to be the one to let go – Alice Hoffman

I’ve also got back into baking, i’ve always enjoyed it, yet not put enough time or effort into perfecting the skill. I wanted something i could do to relax after a stressful work shift or long uni session and bringing this back into my life seems to be the perfect way to do so. I’m sure some of my creations will make their way onto here and my instagram, so keep a look out for any that interest you.

Its back to life now, just wanted to give a little update into whats going on with me; there will be a few posts going up in the next few days, mainly book reviews for the next few books I’ve completed from my bookworm or bust challenge.

Happy Weekend!

#1: In Stitches – Dr. Nick Edwards

In StitcheIn Stitchess By Dr. Nick Edwards. This book shines a light onto the life of an A&E doctor.  First published in 2007, it has since sold 15,000 copies and is now up to date with more chapters than ever.

The book reads like a collection of short blog posts, but the format works by making the content feel personal and engaging. The short anecdotes makes the book a great book for me when commuting to my internship in London.

The perfect mix of alcohol related accidents to the unusual cases, and a few obligatory objects in places they shouldn’t be!

 

What i loved…

The book is truly honest, yet with enough humour that you find yourself laughing. It evenly splits discussions of actual cases and how the working life of this Dr Nick changes as time evolves. My favourite story was ‘an amusing patient’. A burly tattooed man having some issues with needles. Its a reminder that you can never judge people by their looks and that no ones invincible. Though a story the outweighs it in humour is ‘delivering oranges’, it had me laughing loudly on the underground!

Sometimes i just love being at work – especially so when you can have pleasant and amusing patients.

Rating…

I rate my books in the best way i know how; the number of cups of tea its worth. A book i love to read sat on the sofa, the train or in bed with my favourite cup of tea; so i felt it was the perfect way to express my love for the books i read. Between 1-3 cups, 3 being the best.

This book was rated:

3 T's

I rated it three cups for the honest and open way it discusses both the cases he treated and the way politics and paperwork now rule the work doctors now do in the NHS. Its a book that well deserved being on my list and will remain on my kindle for when i need a laugh or three on the train.

Buy the book here!

Bookworm or bust!

I love books. I can happily go through three or four a week, especially during the summer holidays. For a while I’ve had a list of books i’ve wanted to read…. it gets longer and longer over time as i find more suggestions or my interests change.

Reading books really helps me relax and develop as a person, something i am actively trying to make the most of. So in an attempt to encourage myself to do work my way through the list, i have decided to add a segment to my blogging escapades by letting you know what I’m reading.

I am aiming to read 100 books in a year! – whilst managing my third year at university and the two part time jobs i work… so wish me luck.

If your interested in the books i am reading, find the list here! You’ll also note there is space for more books, do you have any ideas?  Let me know on twitter with the #bookwormorbust or by commenting below…

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Did you miss me?

I’m back!

I know its been a few months, but I’m back and more excited than ever to develop my blog into the best it can be. The last few months have been intense and i have definitely changed as a person and grown into much more of an adult… unfortunately.

There are lots of plans in the works as well as lots of cute photos of my new dog Casper!

casper x
My gorgeous baby pup, Casper. A poochon – bichon frise x toy poodle

Its the perfect reason to get following this blog,

can’t wait to see you around more often,

Abigail x

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Second Year Summery: A year of self learning

I am two thirds of the way through my university degree; its a scary warning that soon I will have to enter the world of actual adulthood full-time. So far university has taught me a lot; not only academically, but about myself and others. This has taught me a multitude of skills that will stick with me for life.

I’ve learnt that I don’t need to rely on my parents to make important decisions; and that failure happens sometimes, its how you pick yourself up after that means you really succeed. When I first started uni, I didn’t think I would learn a lot about myself, simply the skills and knowledge to pass my exams. I avoided discussions about going on nights out and halls life, simply because I lived at home and was never interested in that sort of thing. Now discussions have changed to work experience, internships, careers and deadlines; nobody needs to talk about parties anymore; we’ve been there, done that and got the hangover.

University has been the way in which i’ve gained independence and self respect and although sometimes I regret the decision I know its the best thing I could have done. Thankfully its now my summer break and I have over three months to decide on where adulthood is going to take me and which of the many paths I am going to take. Most importantly I am enjoying the sunshine, because I know I will be spending most of third year in the library with my head over a textbook or three!

NHS Cyber Attacks: why did no one listen?

The NHS cyber attacks crippled the systems yesterday and some health trusts are still affected. Yet the government has received not one but two warnings about the network systems susceptibility to attack. An EU funded SIRENS (Securing internet routing: Economics vs. network security) Project was published four days before stating that the border gateway protocol (BGP) is highly vulnerable to cyber attacks. BGP is a vital component of the internet routing infrastructure and the findings showed the protocol downgrade attacks were extremely effective with some S*BGP were useless against attacks. The SIRENS Project suggested a routing protocol that would make the internet work more securely.

It also appears Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, was warned last summer about 60 hospitals, GP surgeries and dental practices whose “computer hardware and software could no longer be supported” and needed to be urgently replaced; the hospitals were still using these outdated system, on Windows XP. It seems to be a huge coincidence that the WannaCry virus attacks machines running Windows and some hospitals are using the same outdated software.

Everyone is aware of the multiple problems facing the NHS, but with the risk of patient care being halted and valuable data being lost or stolen, why was security not improved sooner? Money plays a large part of it, but Security Minister Ben Wallace insisted to the BBC that the NHS trusts have enough money to provide the security measures. Data must be regularly backed up and the security patches must be installed correctly in order for the safety to be continually up to date.

The recent cyber attacks were a huge wake up call for the NHS into the security of its healthcare software. Surgeries were cancelled, patients records withheld and issues with test and scan results are among the problems faced by trusts with computer systems held hostage. We are fortunate that most of the systems have been restored and that so far there has been no sign of a second wave; but 11 trusts are still affected, including Barts Health NHS Trust, whom operates 5 hospitals in London, has reduced or cancelled surgeries and outpatients appointments in response to the current issues.

The attack has raised many questions, including how safe our personal hospital records are or the effectiveness of the UK’s cyber security means reports such as these two are coming more and more important as the world becomes more reliable on the digital age. Hopefully this attack is the only one of its kind and while unsuccessful for the perpetrator, it has successfully shown the world where its vulnerability lies, its not terrorism, its cyber-warfare.

When a service goes wrong…

I spend the majority of my work shift face to face with the customer, thats what it takes when you are a bartender and waitress. It’s often the waitress’s that get the food complaints and the disappointment when guests are not happy. That’s exactly what happened last night; the food was sub-par and taking it to the tables was embarrassing.

It gave me a great appreciation for my boss, someone who does this job full time and without complaining (too much) and an amazing appreciation for my parents who work in this industry full time to. I struggle with events that go wrong mentally, often wanting to just curl up in a ball and pretend its not going this badly, because I am so obsessed with giving amazing service that when it fails to do so I become disappointed in myself.

There was nothing I or my manager could have to done to rectify the situation last night, yet it was us who fielded complaints and tried our hardest to keep the smiles on customers faces, whilst holding fake smiles on our faces. When you complain to your waiter about food; please remember they didn’t make it, they often have no control over what they give to you.

It’s the people that you work with that make a job worth doing in hospitality. Last night I would have undoubtably quit without the support of the rest of my colleagues, and my boss would have too.

I love my colleagues, they are a crazy bunch of people who make me smile at work, even when I am having the worst of days. They are good at what they do and have the largest personalities you will ever know. We go out for drinks together and we can band together to achieve amazing customer service in such a quick paced environment as a theatre pre-dining and interval service. Last nights service was a private dinner event, one I have worked many times before or similar to events I have worked since I was sixteen.

Hospitality is a hard career choice, so smile more at your staff, show them they are appreciated. You might just make their day…

Hospitality is almost impossible to teach. It’s all about hiring the right people.

– Danny Meyer