Students get taste of real medicine
A GROUP of wannabe doctors have swapped their schoolbooks for scalpels and have been testing their skills on some very obliging 'patients'.
Transition year students from counties in the west have taken part in a pilot programme that gives them a taste of what life as a doctor entails.
The 23 students have spent the week taking bloods, inserting catheters, and even reviving their 'patients' – two simulated dummies complete with heartbeat, respiratory system and even the ability to throw up.
The SIMMed School, which is run by volunteers, was open to transition year students who applied to the University Hospital Galway for work experience.
"In previous years the students would trail doctors around the hospital but it wasn't a very positive experience. There were areas they weren't allowed access to and no hands-on experience. This gives them a very hands-on taste of medicine," said an organiser of the SIMMed school.
The highlight of the week for most of the students was working with robots.
"The students had to react when the robots collapsed, had a fit, suffered an allergic reaction or had an asthma attack or heart attack.
"They will learn all the basic skills such as how to take blood, place a drip, plaster a leg and catheterise a bladder. The clinical skills lab enabled them to practise these skills in a safe environment," added a SIMMed school organiser.
The group also received talks from a range of medical experts, including consultant surgeons, paramedics and interns.