Simulation Training at Medical School

Final year is going at full speed- with only (gulp!) 7 months to go until our finals exams are done. We have received our GMC numbers now and from Monday will have our account details to apply for our first job in the NHS.
So as the real life stuff is ramping up, so is the training to help us be junior doctors. I am currently on my emergency medicine attachment and as part of this we had a simulation day based at West Middlesex Hospital. It was fantastic! 
The aim of the day was to give us experience handling emergency situations in a “safe” environment. In pairs, we were placed in a simulation room with a student nurse too. The simulation dummy patient had a voice (someone was speaking through a microphone next door), pulses and breath sounds in their chest. We were given a situation such as “You are the F1s and have been called to see X patient on the ward as the nurses are worried about her, please assess”. Then we had about 10 minutes to play out the acute situation and see how we would handle it when left to our own devices. Meanwhile, our peers were watching our every move in the room next door and would feedback on our return having “saved” the simulation dummy. The simulation room was set up like a normal ward and a useful part about it was we could call for help on the phone to our teaching fellows who would give us advice as if they were the medical registrar on call.  
Honestly, simulation training in our final year has a huge impact on us. It gives us the chance to make the mistakes and be more confident in our own skills before we hit the wards soon. Imperial has combined clinical skills, patient safety and simulation technology to create us fab teaching sessions – and it must be an absolute mission to organise them for our whole year. 
For now, it is interesting for me to reflect that in first year (back in 2013!) all I wanted to do was to go and see patients and get out of lectures, but now all I want to do is improve on my knowledge and fundamental skills before I go out and see the patients as a doctor soon…Scary!
Me in the simulation room!
Twitter: @malamawks | Instagram: @malamawkin

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