The London Healthcare Science Trainee Network (HCSTN) held their PTP Winter Event on Wednesday 13th December 2017.
Our afternoon started with a great introduction from Breanna Mindo (PTP St George’s representative) and Angel Ratnasingham (PTP events co-ordinator). Then Aarti Makan (Professional Advisor for Healthcare Science, HEE London) kicked us off with an icebreaker. She then gave an interesting talk on Audiology and Healthcare Science (HCS), where she emphasised how crucial HCS specialisms are within the NHS. Feedback from attendees not only revealed a deeper understanding and appreciation of the NHS, it also suggested a greater sense of belonging within the wider HCS workforce.
This was followed by a talk on Neurophysiology delivered by Richard Pottinger (Clinical Scientist in Clinical Neurophysiology and Clinical Lead: Education [Healthcare Science], Barts Health NHS Trust) where he addressed the many roles of a neurophysiologist. Reuben Ofori-Kuma and Aaron Sreenivasan (Senior Cardiac Physiologist, Hammersmith Hospital, Imperial NHS Trust) explored the benefits and challenges that are faced daily by a cardiac physiologist. A case study illustrating normal and abnormal echocardiograms, delivered by Reuben, invited the trainees to contribute in a question-answer session. Trainees were able to expand their knowledge in respiratory physiology from the case study presented by Charlie Corfield (Clinical Respiratory Physiologist, St George’s Hospital of London). These talks not only allowed the trainees to actively engage in discussions associated with the clinical scenarios, but also enabled them to further comprehend the physiologists’ role in patient care.
Following these talks, the trainees were able to enhance their practical and analytical skills with the specialty workshops. Jade Cooper (2nd Year Scientist Training Programme [STP] in Neurophysiology) hosted an interactive and inspiration session on Neurophysiology. Trainees reported this session was especially helpful because neurophysiology is not included in their course, therefore through this event they were able to get an insight of the specialty and role. Soniya Kamalraj (Chair, PTP Board) and Breanna Mindo hosted a session on analysing ECGs and the role of a second/third year cardiac physiology student at placement. First year students especially found this useful as it prepares them for the upcoming years.
Trainees then explored the options for further education upon completing their undergraduate degree. Stef Piatek (2nd Year STP in Bioinformatics [Genomics]) informed the trainees regarding the application process, the specialisms, career progression and his own experience as to what its like undertaking the STP. Feedback from the trainees revealed a greater interest in the field of HCS after having learned about the various career opportunities. From the talk delivered by Aarti Makan, Soniya Kamalraj and Alisa Clarke (Events co-ordinator, PTP Board), we were advised about the skills needed for placement/work, both from a student and assessor prospective.
Finally, the trainees were given the opportunity to join the PTP Board to continue supporting other PTP trainees by holding further events such as this one, with the aim of educating, informing and inspiring individuals.
This was a successful and informative afternoon and we would like to extend our thanks to all the speakers and attendees!