On Wednesday 12 January, members of the MedVet society together with pupils in 91A visited the University of Central Lancashire campus to participate in the university’s ‘Health and Medicine’ workshops.
Pupils had the chance to explore nursing and Pharmaceutical Sciences with hands-on activities.
The day began in the university’s Faculty of Health Harrington Building where we received a warm welcome from Outreach Officer Anna. She explained the format of the day and gave a brief presentation outlining some possible career opportunities that lie within the NHS and health and medicine fields. Pupils heard how the NHS is the biggest employer in the country and in the top 5 largest employers in the world.
Pupils assembled into three groups, each taking part in a different workshop. One group practiced resuscitation using CPR, another group applied bandages and slings, whilst the final group refined their hand washing skills to be ‘theatre ready’, used stethoscopes and completed physiological observations on a patient. Each group then rotated, giving all pupils the opportunity to try each activity. This all took place in an impressive replica hospital ward, with patients such as Anthea, a high-tech practice mannequin doll. She speaks, breathes, has a heartbeat, blinks and is programmed to display symptoms of medical conditions for the students to diagnose. The final workshop, based on lung conditions such as asthma, involved all pupils exercising with a straw in their mouths, demonstrating a tight chest and how much harder it is to breathe when you are unable to take in enough oxygen into your lungs. Thank you to the UCLan nursing team Lyndsay, Jessica, Katherine and Masoom for giving our pupils new skills, a fantastic insight into health care and demonstrating the amazing learning tools available at the university.
After lunch we moved across to a pharmacy laboratory in the Foster building to complete two workshops hosted by Dr Jim Gillies and Dr David Wareing. Dr Gillies, Lecturer in Pharmaceutical Sciences at UCLan introduced himself and told pupils of his remarkable career achievements and interests including the development of quantum dots, the highly fluorescent particles used in the imaging of cancer and neurological disorders and his research in 3D bioprinting. Microbiologist Dr Wareing, Lecturer in Medical Microbiology told of his equally impressive career, over twenty years diagnosing infectious diseases and working with scientists to develop diagnostics. He discussed COVID-19 and how other pandemics such as HIV and Cholera are ongoing and the importance of breaking the chain of transmission.
Dr Gillies tasked pupils to work as a community pharmacist, preparing a paracetamol suspension for a patient. The recipe given was for a larger quantity of medicine, meaning pupils had to establish ratios of the listed ingredients and measure the correct dosage of each ingredient before mixing them, pouring and labelling a bottle before finally dispensing the prescription.
The other group led by Dr Wareing tested their microbiology skills to diagnose a patient’s condition, looking at microbes and the symptoms that different microbes could cause. Pupils narrowed down that the illness could have been caused by two possible culprits. After looking at the microbes under a microscope, they managed to diagnose the cause of illness. Pupils relished the unique learning opportunity provided and were proactive in all sessions. Dr Wareing commented on how impeccably well-behaved our pupils were.
UCLan student ambassadors Shoaib and Danielle were on hand all day to accompany us and answer any questions we had. Thank you to everyone involved at UCLan for such an informative and interesting day for our students.