Today my work experience at the care home was particularly interesting. Firstly I met one of the oldest residents at the home; speaking to her about her long history it was amazing to see such an experienced person in an almost perfect health state. We talked about her occupation and family, though we also discussed my future career as a doctor by relating it to her experiences within a hospital, especially when she was having children.
Secondly, after enquiring the senior carer about the medication she was giving to the residents, she explained where all of the medicine is stored in the home. I was astonished at the multitude of prescriptions and tablets that the home has to store and deliver to each resident. She presented me with how each resident has their own sealed cassette tray that the local pharmacy fills each week. One of her jobs is to ensure these are all correct, especially as some of the medication may change due to a change of manufacturer. Medication such as morphine has to be more securely locked away compared to other medicines, and drugs such as insulin have to be stored within a fridge. A “meds round” has to be completed a few times daily, as most residents need medication at various times in the day e.g. early morning, late morning, afternoon, etc. This knowledge has given me an excellent insight into the effort that is made medically to keep a patient well; before I had only seen the physical aspect of caring for the residents; helping them to the bathroom or serving them food.
Hence, my work experience continues to teach me new aspects of the medical health setting. Every time I visit I interact with new people with fascinating personalities; every visit is different and so I look forward to my next attendance.
Recently I attended a medical course at Nottingham university- “Medsim.” The course allowed me to experience various opportunities to gain medical practice, though in addition as I stayed the weekend in student accommodation it increased my independence and confidence in meeting new people.
I completed a CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and AED (Automated external defibrillation) course which taught me essential skills to save a person’s life if they are suffering from a cardiac arrest. Learning methods such as the emergency recovery position, how to use a defibrillator, relieving choking and resuscitation widened my perception of situations which paramedics have to deal with daily.
I was introduced to numerous medical techniques in clinical sessions; keyhole surgery, orthopaedic surgery (screwing and fixing broken bones), trauma and triage as well as learning how anatomy is taught at some universities: by painting features on each other’s body. However, my favourite part of the course was the emergency call-out exercise whereby we were split into small groups to talk about what universities we were thinking of applying to. Then, on the spot we were called to an emergency scene and had to act with the skills we had learnt to save patient lives. Not only was this practice adrenaline thrilling, it also tested our ability to deal with serious situations under time pressure and stress.
Taking a patient history was another key area the course elaborated on; we spent a whole morning meeting real patients and learning to take a case history and discuss diagnosis and treatment. This experience was extremely valuable since the work we were doing was congruous to that of a GP, and so made me realise how much I enjoy taking on this role. We experienced several other clinical sessions that covered taking blood pressure with a sphygmomanometer, X-rays, ECG (electrocardiography), ultrasound and molecular biology. All of which were fascinating while giving me invaluable experience of procedures used in treatments within a hospital.
Overall the weekend was an amazing success; it gave me a vital insight into the career that I am striving towards. I am now more aware of the responsibility of a doctor; having to deal with a patient emotionally, medically and physically. The course has boosted my anticipation to start medical school and hopefully that is what the future holds.