Hello everyone! Towards the end of last month, I completed a three-day long work experience placement as part of the Hospex Programme. It sounds short but it packed in a lot of experience! On the programme, I had the opportunity to gain a valuable insight into a wide range of departments in the hospital.
On the first day, my morning session was in an E & T surgical theatre where I witnessed some biopsies, endoscopy, dilation of the oesophagus and a transoral laser resection ( a tumour in the throat was removed using a laser! it was inspiring to watch! ). Although I had to leave because I felt dizzy a few times, I found it a very useful experience!
For the afternoon, I was shadowing an F1 doctor on an orthogeriatric ward. This was particularly fascinating as I learnt about the role of cancers in fractures. I was impressed by how the geriatrician assisting the doctor communicated with the patients in a way that answered the doctor’s queries about recovery, while keeping things brief
The next morning, I sat with a Renal Consultant in clinic while he was reviewing the progress of dialysis. The doctor was incredibly professional in sharing his concerns about the patient in a way that was direct and addressed the issue but did not cause the patient any distress. Along with learning about a variety of kidney conditions, I had the chance to look around on the renal ward to see how a dialysis machine worked.
In the afternoon, I was originally meant to have been shadowing an ophthalmologist, however due to unknown reasons I was moved onto a rheumatology clinic – this was also very interesting! I admired the doctor’s approach with patients as she ensured that the patients were at ease (although this led to some time delays so the clinic overran by about 45 min) and she remained calm even when some patients were unwilling to cooperate
In the morning of the third and final day, I was placed at the Cardiac Catheter Lab. This was an incredibly educational experience as while the doctor was carrying out procedures such as inserting a catheter through the femoral artery to observe the coronary arteries, inserting a stent etc., the physiologists and nurses who were with me explained the details of each procedure in detail as well as showing me what could be seen in each part of the imaging. The doctor and the team were extremely generous in answering any questions I had and it finished my experience on a high note!
After this, we had the opportunity to talk to a medical student and a junior doctor to better understand the challenges of being a healthcare professional and to seek advice on our medical applications.
The programme was an invaluable experience and it has significantly increased my motivation to study medicine !