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I could not live without…

My mini notebook

Pre-reg optometrist, Thaksha Sritaran, discusses the benefits of always having a mini notebook by her side

pencil and notepad
Getty/shugarWarrior

A mini notebook may not be the first thing that comes to mind for clinicians when thinking about what you cannot live without, especially in the 21st century where every task can be done electronically. However, technology can’t always replace the classics, and, for me, I cannot live without my little notebook because of how convenient it is.

Having the notebook on me made it easy to make quick notes on anything I wanted to read up on, or new techniques or tips that I had picked up from my supervisors

 

Being organised

Thaksha with her notebook
Thaksha Sritaran with her notebook
The first time I realised the convenience of having a notebook at my side was in the middle of my second-year labs. I felt a need to write things down whilst my professors and clinic leads went over instructions or tips during our lab briefs. At that time, I would just scribble notes in my lab book. However, it left me feeling that my notes were all over the place.

Consequently, during the beginning of my third-year clinics at City, University of London, I started carrying around a little notebook. I found this immensely useful since I was constantly learning. Having the notebook on me made it easy to make quick notes on anything I wanted to read up on, or new techniques or tips that I had picked up from my supervisors. I’m sure the supervisors remember me as the girl who was always scribbling away in her notebook.

The notebook helped me to keep organised with my patient numbers and experiences. It has also acted as a journal, helping me fill out my reflections and keep track of what I could do to improve my clinical skills.

Benefits

A huge benefit of the mini notebook is its size. It is small and compact, and therefore it is easy to carry around. As a result, I would take it to every clinic, without fail.

“All in all, I would say my mini notebook is indispensable because it’s so convenient, I can always refer to it”

 

If I ever lost my notebook, I would immediately feel disorganised and unprepared, and I would most likely resort to using my phone to keep track of my notes. However, I primarily aim not to use my phone because I find it can be distracting and may even come across as rude or inattentive since smartphones have so many functions.

All in all, I would say my mini notebook is indispensable because it’s so convenient, I can always refer to it, and I feel it’s more respectful in a clinical setting compared to typing away on my phone. I can definitely see myself maintaining this tradition of carrying around a mini notebook throughout my pre-registration placement and throughout my qualified career. I would definitely recommend other students to think about carrying around a mini notebook to help them stay organised.

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