My Thrilling Work Experience at Stoke Mandeville Hospital

Medicine is A career which seems daunting to many, long hours, hard work and emotional distress. All for a typical average wage and less time to spend with family and friends.

However, I have found this to be the complete opposite of what I expected. For two days, I took part in volunteering in the Paediatrics department at Stoke Mandeville Hospital. I was welcomed into a friendly environment and a room full of nurses and both senior and junior doctors  exchanging patient notes from the night shift teams. At eight thirty the day was already into full swing with the ward round swiftly following at half past nine.

The best part of the experience was the ward round and fulfilling ‘baby checks’. Every patient I had come across and every parent made the day so much easier. Polite, respectful and happy to be receiving treatment and always complementing staff at each and every opportunity. Working in the Neonatal department was a real eye opener. Witnessing the human species at its most vulnerable state really puts things into perspective. How fragile, how delicate and intricate the human body is at such an early stage was a privilege to see. It is such an understatement to say how rewarding medicine is. It is phenomenal and well worth the time and effort.

My initial thoughts of medicine were that it would be gruelling and would really take all emphasis out of me. This was not the case. The staff were great at creating a very welcoming and friendly atmosphere. It was nice to see not only the relationships between patients and doctors but also wonderful to witness the cooperation and friendships between colleagues. Everyone seemed to be happy and enjoying themselves, as was I, there was never a dull moment and there was literally no guessing what I would see next, as every patient was unique in their own way. Working on the frontline pof things puts you through your paces, whether it determining what is wrong with a patient or rushing towards a bed to a patient in distress. Both of these I witnessed and took part in, which really made me feel out of my depth, yet there I was, with colleagues, helping save lives, however small the difference I made.

The two days have left me craving for more, yet much like a comic book vigilante I return to my normal everyday life yearning to return to the battlefield between life and death