CRF Outreach - Schools - Work Experience Student

CRF Outreach - Schools - Work Experience Student

"The week of work experience was amazing!"

I really enjoyed the variety of people I was able to meet and follow around. This kept the work experience interesting for the entire time and I was able to learn so much more than what I was initially expecting. 

At the start of the week, I was quite overwhelmed with the amount of new information I learnt about the Clinical Research Facility (CRF), from a discussion with the operational manager and by participating in a CRF operational group meeting. 

One day of work experience was spent with two CRF fellows, who work with the neuromuscular team. I was able to follow them on their ward round, which I found extremely eye-opening. Seeing positive and cheerful children with diseases such as muscular dystrophy even as young as three months old was uplifting to witness. It allowed me to realise the bubble I was living in.

During the afternoon, I had the opportunity to sit in on a muscular dystrophy clinic where I followed a 12-year-old boy with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy through his clinic and then physiotherapy. This enabled me to understand the importance of teamwork and the multi-disciplinary team as there were a variety of healthcare professionals working together to treat this one boy.

For example there was a CRF fellow, physiotherapist and occupational therapist, who together carried out the North Star Assessment, nurse, consultant and even a psychologist who would meet with the young boy to help him with his mental struggles as he felt much anxiety when going to school. 

The following day I had the opportunity to watch a study on a girl with Turner Syndrome. I learnt that many adult women with Turner Syndrome are found to have high cortisol levels. If the study found that cortisol levels are high in children, then it would be possible to design treatments that would reduce the risks of adults developing these problems.

I found it quite interesting to watch the tests be done to the young girl. One of the tests was an ultrasound scan on the girl’s neck and this required her not to talk for a few minutes. However, she found this difficult, and it resulted in the scan having to be repeated a couple of times. This enabled me to understand the importance of being patient, due to the difficulties of getting children to comply.

The doctors and nurses spent more than half a day with this girl allowing me to realise how healthcare professionals give importance to each patient. Furthermore, because of this, I was also able to understand the importance of concentration and persistence. 

Overall, I really enjoyed the valuable work experience at Alder Hey and I am so grateful to have been given the opportunity to spend a week at the hospital and be able to learn so much about the career which I hope to have. 

If you are interested in work experience with our CRF team, please email Matthew.Bickerstaff@alderhey.nhs.uk and D.Hawcutt@liverpool.ac.uk

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Alder Hey Children's Charity
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Alder Hey Children's Charity