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Oakham pupil gains valuable medical work experience at the Leicester Royal Infirmary

Oakham pupil, Yatfei, has gained valuable work experience this Easter work shadowing Dr Craig in the Acute Medicine Unit (west) at the Leicester Royal Infirmary. 

Yatfei visited patients during the morning rounds and helped to record their medical histories and carry out simple procedures, like blood draws and PICC lines. He also had the opportunity to sit in on procedures and practice them. The placement also allowed him to progress emotionally too, having to deal with vulnerable people and even death. Yatfei said, “This experience showed me how frail and weak life can be, which allowed me to see how precious each moment is; this is why we should really treasure each moment and not waste it. It also showed me how much dignity disease can steal from us, and how important it is not to be prejudiced.”

Yatfei continued, “Being in the moment and working alongside the doctors, was so rewarding. It has really given me an insight in all the hard work that they do. I was so inspired and touched by their humour, tenderness and thoughtfulness. They try to tend to all the patient’s needs including the families’ wishes to the best of their abilities.”

Read more of Yatfei’s interesting work experience below:-

Monday

The day started with a quick handover from the night shift, followed by rounds, which involved chatting with patients; taking their medical history and doing examinations. Afterwards the junior doctors along with Dr Craig (the consultant on duty) discussed each patient individually and devised a treatment plan.

I learnt that having a comfortable working atmosphere is very important, which allowed for efficient communication and people not being afraid to contribute. Moreover, I realised how important it was to work as a team. Even though there were many people from many different departments, such as pharmacy, physiotherapy, they were able to work harmoniously, to provide the best possible care. Most importantly I noticed the importance of support for both the patient and family after the treatment and being discharged. I realised that many of the patients there had many long term diseases such as dementia, which required more intensive care. The thing that stood out for me was how involved the patient’s families were. Dr Craig always discussed the treatment plans during the rounds and made sure that the families were always comfortable with it. Even though sometimes their wasn’t much she could do as the patients where in EOL care, Dr Craig still informed the families what they were doing and respected their wishes.

This day also allowed me to progress a lot emotionally. It showed me how frail and weak life could be, which allowed me to see how precious each moment is; this is why we should really treasure each moment and not waste it. It also showed me how much dignity disease can steal from us, and how important it is not to be prejudiced.

Tuesday

Again the day started with a handover from the night shift and rounds with Dr Craig. However, this time I was accompanied by a friendly and helpful medical student, Sophie, from the University of Leicester. Later in the afternoon Sophie and I followed a FY1 doctor, Dr Jones. He tried to help Sophie to improve her practical skills and theory knowledge, but at the same time show me the practical sides of medicine; he allowed us to sit in on procedures and practice them, and talked through the steps patiently. I’m so grateful for all that he did with us that day and the support he had provided. He was so supportive and funny, which now I have realised is one of the greatest qualities to have as a doctor. This is because it really put the patients to ease, but also it allowed us to learn in a constructive environment.

However, that day also started with something that I had never experienced personally before, Death.

The moment I arrived that day into the office, one of the FY1 doctors was just being informed to go check on a patient who had passed away in the night. She asked if I wanted to come along, and without thinking I said yes. That was the first time I brushed by death. We first checked the basic life signs of that patient. Their was nothing, no pulse, no heartbeat, no life. Then we went to the more physical checks, like rubbing the sternum and shaking the patient, but again nothing. Nothing reacted, all the life had drained away. The FY1 doctor than asked me if I wanted to listens to his heart, that was the first moment I actually became scared and said no immediately. After that chilling experience I was distraught throughout the morning. Thankfully there was a lot of other things going on that day so I wasn’t too focused on it. However, because of that I wasn’t able to process it until later on. And now as I am reflecting on it I have realised that many people around my age don’t actually realise that death is a reality but instead we joke about it. However, this also allowed me to understand many unadvised coping mechanisms, like alcohols, drugs etc. Nonetheless, I have learnt that again we shouldn’t be scared of death, it is something peaceful, respectful and natural.

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