On 18 May, Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance (LNAA) hosted another successful taster day where doctors and paramedics showcased the multifaceted aspects of pre-hospital emergency medicine (PHEM) to trainee doctors.
PHEM is a rapidly expanding and evolving medical sub-speciality, and yet it is rarely included in medical school or foundation curricula, making it hard for junior doctors and medical students to identify it as a career option.
LNAA organized this special taster day as a way for trainee doctors to gain an insight as to the role of a doctor working within the Air Ambulance environment.
Shayda Karimi, a doctor with LNAA put the special day together and is delighted with the enthusiasm shown by the delegates. She said: “We showcased a typical shift as a PHEM/HEMS doctor, explaining the relationship between the ambulance service paramedics and colleagues from other emergency services. We also explained the importance of teamwork when working in a stressful environment with critically ill patients.”
The simulations that illustrated how difficult it is for pre-hospital teams to treat patients at the scene of an incident showed the stark difference to treating patients in hospitals. The tour of the helicopter allowed everyone to see how much equipment can be carried on each mission, and conversations with the pilots, doctors, and paramedics gave a very real account of the rich rewards if they decided to follow a career as a HEMS (Helicopter Emergency Medical Service) doctor.
Cat Anderson, a year 2 foundation doctor due to start a training post in the Emergency Department at Peterborough City Hospital next year, believes the day has strengthened her desire to follow a career in pre-hospital emergency medicine. She said: “The difference between working in a hospital and working for an Air Ambulance was continually highlighted throughout the day. I enjoy being challenged and this role will certainly do that.
“It is about coming to patients in their homes and communities, working in any type of situation using ground-breaking technology alongside the rest of your team. That is why I want to be a PHEM doctor.”