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Future medics get a glimpse of University lifeMarch 14th, 2016
When preparing for a career in medicine it is essential to gain an insight into the possible courses that will shape our university education. So when my tutor group for medicine was told we would be able to take part in two medical courses that allowed us to sit in on actual lessons for second and third year students in Cardiff university, I was thrilled.
Both days’ courses were held in the Cochrane Medical Education Centre, which is part of
University Hospital of Wales (UHW), Heath Park campus. The Cochrane building has received over eighteen million pounds in investment to provide high quality facilities and was described by many students as the centre of their studies at Cardiff.
My first day started as I joined a group of third year medical students in one of the simulation and teaching rooms for a clinical skills session. I was instructed in how to catheterise a patient using adult, anatomically correct, mannequins. What I noticed most was the attention to detail in the teaching process, not only with the actual insertion of the catheter but also with the detailed check list of points that had to be performed before the procedure was undertaken. This was all in the effort of reducing infection on wards in the future. The simulation rooms themselves are described by Cardiff University as an environment that “looks, and feels, like a real clinical setting.” I found this as well, due to the high quality facilities and resources in the Cochrane building that really did create a simulation and imitation of actual procedures.
The second part of the clinical skill sessions involved dealing with cuts and incisions and applying dressing and bandages to simulated wounds. Again, precision in the detail of the process was key, as the doctors instructing us emphasised the importance of sterility in any ward where such procedures would be performed.
The second day involved a Communication Skills session with various year 2 medical students . The medical school had brought in professional actors to work directly with the students in order to improve their confidence and patient contact skills. The actors then played the roles of various patients. The students had to communicate to the “patients” in various scenarios such as a patient being given advice and help after he has had a heart attack. This helped show us that medicine is much more than learning the facts and being able to carry out medical procedure, but instead also involves good communication, so that doctors can support and care for their patients, not just treat them.
Throughout the two days the biggest thanks must go to the supervising doctors and staff who organised the course and the group of students who were so inclusive and treated me as part of their own, which made the experience so amazing.
Many thanks to Tomos, VI.2, for this report.