Busy, Removing Eyes.

Well it’s been some week this week! I can’t say I’m not completely exhausted, and I am cooking a roast dinner for around 15 people tomorrow. No word of a lie that I am currently boiling an immense amount of potatoes in preparation. Sunday I will be putting my feet up, but for now I thought I would catch you up on my week before you think I’ve forgotten about this blog.

The week started out strong, I had Fire Warden training on Monday and I am now qualified to wear a high visibility jacket and tackle a fire if I choose to. I got to try out a couple of extinguishers which was very exciting, I’ve never tried one before! I most importantly learnt that the Carbon Dioxide one freezes so don’t hold the bottom or the funnel, and the water ones are incredibly heavy! I hopefully have a first aid training course at some point soon, Mortuary Gem will be one of the safest people you know I’m sure.

It was a quiet week in the mortuary really, with not many patients coming in and fewer post-mortems than previous weeks. This meant we could crack on with a few other things, I had a chance to read up on some of the documents in the office and try to learn a bit more about the HTA (Human Tissue Authority). I will definitely be mentioning them again in future for one very poignant reason- we have a HTA inspection coming up in the new year and I’d like to understand more about what they are looking at so will be doing lots of reading!

Wednesday morning I had the chance to visit another hospital mortuary in a town nearby to see how their computer system worked because we will soon be implementing it at our mortuary. This was a really great chance to see how another mortuary worked, while also getting to meet some new people who work in the same field. They were lovely and friendly, and happy to take time to show me everything I wanted to see. It was also in the town where I used to work for five years previously and I used to drive past the hospital every day too! Funny, I never thought I would be able to visit the mortuary there when I was driving past to do my office job.

In the evening I went along with Laura D to another talk at Barts Pathology Museum. This time it was titled Gothic Diessections in Film & Literature and was given by Ian Conrich and Laura Sedgwick who are the authors of a book of the same title. This was a completely engaging discussion of how body parts are used in certain ways in films or books to show different themes and ideas through the reading of excerpts of their book. The book is divided into body parts and the talk discussed several of these including skin, teeth and the brain. Alongside the gif and image laden slides, there were interactive sections with handouts of props and appropriately themed sweets that made this a throughly enjoyable talk! The book can be pre-ordered here, I had a chance to look through a copy while at the museum and it might have been on my Christmas list had it come out before! Thanks once again to Carla Valentine for hosting the event at the museum.

Gothic Dissections in Film & Literature: The Body in Parts

Highly appropriate sweets handed out during the talk!

Thursday was a very busy day with five post-mortems occurring and the pathologist conducting them was not someone I had met before. I was assisting in the post-mortem room arranging the tools when I was asked if I would write down some notes for him. I of course jumped at the chance and had a lovely hour or so chatting with him. The post-mortems were fascinating, I find myself being shown various things by the APTs and I will never get tired of the different stuff I see in there. One of the patients in for a post-mortem that day was having several samples taken for testing and I was shown how these were taken. My favourite part of all was, and I’m sorry if you are terribly squeamish but you kind of know what to expect from this blog, being shown how to take the eyes out from their sockets. This was so interesting, seeing how the eye is connected by the muscles surrounding it, as well as how to detach it from the nerves at the back.

Today was a quieter day with no post-mortems and only a few patients to ‘book in’ so I spent a while cleaning, and also had a chance to discuss a few things with my manager regarding the new computer system. I had better get back to my roast dinner prep now, but if you have any questions about any of the above or anything else please get in touch! Thank you for reading and I’ll be back next week with another update.

MG x

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