"The bachelor’s degree in urgent and emergency care involved me being based at an emergency department. It is a major trauma centre with a helipad and I assisted with a range of traumas and resuscitations on a regular basis - this includes cardiac arrests, full thickness burns and code red traumas. My role varied from performing the primary and secondary survey, airway and C-spine immobilisation or performing practical skills. Some of the practical clinical skills I have performed under supervision include peripheral intravenous access, ‘femoral stab’, arterial blood gases, needle chest decompression, suturing, fractured limb reductions and shoulder relocations.
Being an active member of the multidisciplinary team has shown me the significance of effectively and clearly communicating together. I am very fortunate that I have been able to get hands on experience and exposure to a substantial number of cases, which has reinforced my interest in this area of medicine.
During the degree, I attended the trauma first response course and observer advanced life support course. It broke down and improved my understanding of how injuries and pathologies are related to the mechanism of injury. I have therefore been able to relate this to the physiological and anatomical changes. It has taught me how to perform a pre-alert and made me realise the importance of definitive care.
The degree has exposed me to several different concepts, which are essential to pre-hospital and emergency medicine. I have analysed the human factors in air crash reports and further associating and comparing this to clinical practice. I have received very interactive training on major incidents and scene safety. I am aware of how a major incident is declared. I have also learnt about the interaction between the fire and police services that is essential.
I have been able to apply leadership and management theories to emergency medicine, seeing how it plays a role in creating a strong and supportive team. I have attended the clinical governance meetings. It has been interesting to hear about critical cases but I was also able to see how they maintain and manage quality and keep up to date with advances in innovation.
I have seen how bad news is broken to the relatives if the patient suffers life changing or non-survivable injuries. This has made me aware of the level of compassion and the systematic approach required to deliver this information. If my patient survives, then I would follow up with them during their recovery period. It makes me fully aware that the patient’s quality of care with the excellent work of doctors, nurses and paramedics is of primary importance.
I also had exposure to pre-hospital medicine through observing a paramedic on an ambulance shift. This has inspired me to get further exposure in this field of medicine. Urgent and emergency care fascinate me and I aspire to specialise in emergency medicine. I am feeling extremely enthusiastic and passionate about my future in the speciality after taking part in the degree."