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Crash test for medics

29 April 2015

Medical students help injured person in crash course

Serious road traffic accident training a first for Wales' future doctors

Cardiff medical students were last week put to the test when the Welsh Ambulance Service staged a serious road traffic accident in rural Brecon.

In several impact scenarios, second year students from Wales's only undergraduate medical programme had to treat different types of traumatic injuries caused by car and motorbike accidents.

Students learned how to assess the injured patient, position them and move them safely for transportation to a trauma centre.

The real-life simulation exercise is one of the many innovative ways of learning introduced by the School of Medicine as part of their new undergraduate degree programme.

The day forms part of a broader training initiative to teach students about the provision of healthcare in rural Wales, including the challenges of distance and methods of assessing rural trauma.

"The day was a fantastic opportunity to experience some of the differences that exist between urban and rural medicine," said Cardiff University medical student, Carla-Marie Grubb.

"As someone who has always lived in very urban areas, it allowed me to appreciate some of the challenges medics who work within rural environments face, especially in regards to the long distances between medical facilities.  

"The emergency scenario was also an excellent opportunity for us to have a go at putting our emergency medical knowledge into practice and begin to understand how different components of the emergency services collaborate in order to deal with emergency situations effectively." 

Dr Frances Gerrard, Clinical Senior Lecturer and Lead for Primary Care Attachment at Cardiff University School of Medicine, said:

"The School of Medicine is committed to supporting medical training involving all communities and areas of Wales, including the extensive rural community. 

"There are further opportunities for students to participate in the medical care of rural communities throughout their course and this placement aims to encourage student interest in the extensive placements we can offer in Mid and North Wales." 

A main objective of the University's new C21 curriculum is to give medical students early exposure to patients in a community setting, in order give students a diverse clinical learning experience.

Members of the Ambulance Service, local doctors and the mountain rescue service were on hand to offer specialist guidance to students throughout the day.

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