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Elective Competition Winner 2017

By Kerry Bramley

Elective Competition Winner 2017

Meet Kerry Bramley, a medical student and one of the winners of our Wesleyan Elective Competition 2017. She's sharing with us her elective experience in Malawi and the UK.

Here's Kerry fourth update on the next leg of her elective adventures.

My Elective with the Essex and Hertfordshire Air Ambulance - Part 1

The second half of my elective was with the Essex and Hertfordshire Air Ambulance.

Kerry-air-1-250During my time there, I was able to take part in a number of activities.

The most valuable part of the elective was being able to fly on the helicopter and travel in the rapid response vehicle as an observer, as it enabled me to experience the clinical work undertaken by the HEMS team.

During my four weeks, I was allocated six clinical shifts. The remainder of the time was spent working on a project, attending death and disability meetings, and participating in occasional training sessions such as simulations or surgical skills.

Whilst on my elective, I also arranged to attend the East of England Ambulance Service control room. Here, I was able to listen to some 999 calls and learn how the calls are triaged and the ambulances dispatched.

I also spent some time with the Critical Care control desk, learning how the team identifies 999 calls that may be suitable for response by a HEMS team, or a doctor on a fast response vehicle.Kerry-air-landing-250

I also arranged an observer night shift on a land ambulance, to see the variety of work that the ambulance service attends.

During my first helicopter shift, we only had one call out to a neonatal cardiac arrest, but we were stood down en-route, as we were no longer needed.

During my second shift, we were called out to two jobs, both of which were men who had fallen from a height. At the jobs, I experienced the extremes of the UK weather!

At the first job, it was a really hot day, and the helicopter had to land quite a distance from the patient's house. The HEMS doctor and paramedic were able to get a lift to the scene by a paramedic in a car.

As the co-pilot and I continued walking to the scene, a local taxi driver offered us a lift the remainder of the way, which was greatly appreciated. However, we were still extremely hot and sweaty by the time we arrived.

In contrast, whilst at the second job, the sky was black and we knew there was a thunderstorm close by. By the time we had flown the patient to the hospital, the skies had opened and it was raining very heavy.

Kerry-air-1-ambulance-250By the time we reached the A+E department, we were soaking wet, and we had to dry off with towels after the patient had been handed over. Both of the patients we attended that day were ok.

One suffered a head injury but remained fully conscious throughout. The other had an open fracture at the ankle with absent pulses, which required reduction under sedation whilst on scene.

During my third shift, all of the call outs were stood down en-route however; the doctor did some teaching on haemorrhage control, which was useful.

My two final helicopter shifts were busy - I'll discuss these in detail during Part 2 of my air ambulance elective blog.

Watch out for some more updates about her elective adventures from Kerry!

Are you going on an elective? Head off on your travels safe in the knowledge that we've got you covered for problems such as cancellations for exam re-sit cancellations, HIV needle-stick injuries or unforeseen medical expenses with elective insurance from Wesleyan.

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