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Medical students go out on the road

31 January 2013

Health Care

Final year medical students on placement at Southend University Hospital have been getting a broader picture of the patient journey, thanks to a new initiative launched in conjunction with the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust.

The opportunity to shadow a paramedic for a day arose after one of the students, in their fifth year at Barts and the London medical school and on their acute medical care placement, asked if their could get a taste of life on the road. 

Student Ciara McClenaghan, who is hoping to specialise in A&E care, had reported for her shift at 5.30am and had a 'tiring' day. 

She said: "It has been really helpful seeing patients in their own homes and learning about medicine from the other side."

Fellow student David Brooke added: "We would not normally get the chance to gain any paramedic experience. It has given us an appreciation of how the patient's condition is managed without all the equipment which is readily available at the hospital."

A&E consultant Mr Hamid Rokan, one of the students' tutors at Southend, said: "We are delighted to be able to arrange this additional dimension to our students' experience. The opportunity to shadow a paramedic gives students a much fuller picture of the patient's condition when they arrive at our door, and we are most grateful to the ambulance service for all their cooperation in this venture.

"We hope to make it a regular part of our students' experience." 

Matt Broad, the ambulance service's clinical general manger for Essex, said: "The ambulance service is an integral part of the health economy and we were delighted to give the students an insight into pre-hospital care in the communities. I hope they all found the observer shifts informative and worthwhile."  

With pic:A&E consultant Mr Hamid Rokan; medical students David Brooke and Ciara McClenaghan; behind, medical students Priti Narshi and Saoirse Lyons and (rear) paramedic Teresa Shadforth with student ambulance paramedic Mark Nelmes, both based at Shoebury.