Medicine is an ever evolving science that focuses on the human body and its compilations of intricate, complex structures. This, and the diverse experience I have gained whilst working as a theatre nurse, has cemented my desire to embark on a career as a doctor. I am driven by a passion to both treat disease and understand its causes and effects in profound depth so as to provide my patients with the best possible care.
Working closely with surgeons and medical doctors I have experienced first-hand the diversity of the role. The key to delivering effective care is not simply prescribing drugs or performing surgery, you also need to be empathetic and compassionate. Much the same as nursing, the art of medicine also takes on a holistic approach, treating not only the physical symptoms but also the physiological and social implications that illness can have on the patient and their families.
Throughout my studies and professional career I have been able to observe various specialties of medicine, for example from a routine appendicectomy to an emergency laparotomy in CEPOD theatre. Since starting a new venture as a theatre scrub nurse, I have consistently been placed outside of my comfort zone, which I have found to be an enjoyable challenge. However, whilst I have thought long and hard, I think I am yet to reach my full potential in my current role and this is why I find studying medicine so attractive.
Alongside the physical and holistic aspects of medicine, clear and concise communication is vital in enhancing the doctor-patient relationship. Communication is crucial in my current position as a theatre nurse and has played a crucial role when I served as a corporal within the army reserves. Clear, strong leadership, the ability to problem solve both within a team and as an individual, and staying calm under pressure are not only the traits of a good doctor, but also skills which I have honed and utilised during my time as a non commissioned officer.
Working as part of a multidisciplinary team to provide optimal care for the patient occurs on a daily basis within theatres. I have been involved in a case where an elderly patient required a laparotomy for small bowel obstruction. For this case eight staff were required, consisting of 3 surgeons, 2 scrub practitioners, 1 theatre assistant and 2 anaesthetists (itself demonstrating the range of specialties required). Due to the patient’s age, frailties and operation type it was agreed that post operatively the patient required an intensive care bed. As lead scrub nurse it was my responsibility to ensure that not only did we have all the required equipment, but the operation commenced in a timely manner. At the end of the case I delegated to another team member to liaise with the intensive care staff to determine an appropriate time for transfer of the patient. This case highlighted a number of important points: (i) to individually tailor treatment to each patient; (ii) to consider the risks and benefits of treatment; and (iii) to remain vigilant, acting as an advocate for those who are unable to do so themselves.
During my time at university I was to be selected by my peers to represent them as a student ambassador. This allowed me to attend open and closed events on behalf of the university. During my time within this role my self-confidence, alongside my ability to communicate with a variety of different people, improved greatly. This quality will be valuable throughout my career as a doctor.
I possess an open and enquiring mind. I fully understand that a career in medicine will be full of intellectual, physical, ethical and emotional challenges. However, with my enthusiasm, background in healthcare, and experiences outside of the work environment, I believe I have the necessary foundations to succeed in such a fulfilling vocation.