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Work Experience for the NHS – Meet Xavier!Posted on: 11th Feb 2021
Year 12 student Xavier recently fulfilled his work experience for the NHS. We caught up with him to find out about his experience.
“My work experience placement went very well, and it actually opened my eyes on the many different paths in medicine. I learnt a lot about different types of doctors that I did not know even existed. I also learnt about the BMAT and UCAT exams from it and how to respond to an interview question well. As a whole, it was an amazing work experience.
Due to the pandemic, work experience took the form of online zoom calls with a variety of doctors that came in to tell us about their journey. I learned about Orthopaedic doctors who focus on injuries and diseases of your body's musculoskeletal system. I learnt about the different things they work on (trauma and elective) and I learned the pros and cons of working as an orthopaedic doctor.
I learnt about Paediatric doctors and learned the special term for a baby under 30 days old is neonates. I learned about what you need to be a competent paediatric doctor and that you train for 8 years in total and on your 4/5 year you can apply to a sub-specialisation.
I also learned about Surgical consultants (and the importance of getting a BSc) and how necessary communication skills are to forming a strong connection with your patient in their time of need. Also, I learned how there is a lot of paperwork when you become a surgical consultant and how there is never really a break.
Furthermore, we watched a video about life as a nurse/doctor. I noticed how they were all calm and collected when they were in very high-pressure situations. In this video they were trying to save a 2-year-old boy who had fallen unconscious and had stopped breathing. They tried to save him for an hour and the head doctor deemed him as unsavable. However, what was interesting is that he made sure to ask all the doctors and nurses if they had differing opinions before he made the call. The doctors on the zoom call expanded on this and told us the most important qualities as a doctor are:
- Having empathy
- Curiosity (Makes medicine easier)
- Good manners
- Understanding that the patient is not as well read on the subject as you.
- How imperative it is to practise communication skills.
Finally, I learned about the importance of warning shots. Warning shots (non-verbally and verbally) are good ways to set the mood for the patient. The language you use is important. Don't use a lot of jargon and speak clearly and calmly. Understand that the patient might be shocked so you should take that into effect and allow them to take it in and continue later.