CRF School Work Experience Student – July 2022

CRF School Work Experience Student – July 2022

"The week I won’t forget!!!"

My week in the Clinical Research Facility (CRF) was a brilliant experience, I was able to learn so much about the importance of a multi-disciplinary team in a hospital, especially how every role is important from a play specialist to a doctor!  

The week started with a quick but thorough safety introduction before I was introduced to the research nurse, who I was to follow for the morning; she was undertaking a study about DMD (Duchenne muscular dystrophy), and I was able to shadow her while she was assessing a young boy to make sure everything was stable while he was trailing this new form of treatment for DMD.  

I was shown how all the results and data is documented and I learnt how important it is to document all the information properly and precisely.   You must stick to the protocol as it is vital, otherwise the results could be void.  In the afternoon I was introduced to the rest of the team, and I learnt some of their roles and what they do on a day-to-day basis.
The next day I was introduced to the Play specialist, I had a long conversation with her about learning the importance of how to cater for the specific needs of a patient.  This involved communication, soft skills and how they are vital to having a successful and positive interaction with a patient, to minimise any trauma that may be caused as the patient’s wellbeing comes before everything. 

In that afternoon I was able to observe a study called “take it EZ” where I was able to witness first-hand how to observe patients; take consent and how randomisation works in a study.  I was lucky enough to take part in the study as there was an empty slot, this allowed me to see both sides of the study, as I had to read the Information booklet; sign a consent form and physically take part in the study myself.  This all allowed me to understand how important it is to brief the patient and make the study as pleasant as possible as I have now experienced both sides of the coin and learned how important it is to properly inform patients of the risks and benefits of going into a study.

Later throughout the week I was fortunate enough to speak to current medical students and learn about their experiences and how they got to where they are now, they were able to help guide me on possible careers in medicine for the future and how I could get there.  I was also very lucky to go to the research building that is ran by Liverpool University and talk to staff who work there about the other side of the studies with all the paperwork and administration that goes on in the background.

Coming to the end of the week I was taken on a tour of the labs learning how interconnected the hospital is, with tubes all around the hospital going to the lab allowing the nurses and doctors to stay in the ward treating patients rather then spending valuable time taking blood samples etc to the labs and back, I was also shown how different samples are analysed and the hundreds of different machines in the labs that allow them to be analysed, including machines that were used and still are used to test for covid-19.  On the Thursday afternoon I was also shown the role of the pharmacist and I learnt about how some drugs are made on site and some must be ordered in especially in the CRF with drugs that aren’t licensed for use outside of a specific study yet.  I was also taken around the whole hospital with the pharmacist and shown how important it is to keep track of all the drugs in the hospital and that they are stored correctly so that the hospital can run smoothly.  

Finally, I was shown the innovative lab this was a place in the hospital where new technology was being designed and tested so it could be used practically in the hospital things like VR headsets, AR headsets and even 3D printers!  I felt like I was in the future it was surreal and to my astonishment I was told a lot of it was already in use in the hospital! This taught me how important it is to work with and adapt to new technology in medicine and how much it can assist and help health care professionals in the future.

To sum it all up - I learnt that medicine is always changing and adapting and how important research is whether its researching new drugs, treatments, or technology!!!  Another major thing I learned was how much doctors, nurses and everyone who is part of that multi-disciplinary team in the hospital works and how many different roles there are in a hospital.  I would like to thank everyone who was part of my work experience and how they have really helped me develop as a person and reinforce my goal of going into medicine in the future, I would also like to say how grateful I am for it.

Sebastian Jackson

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