Registered Charity No. 1126752
Medical student attachments with London’s Air Ambulance will give you an opportunity to gain experience in the field of pre-hospital care, and in particular, helicopter emergency medicine (HEMS). During your attachment, there will be a number of training and learning opportunities. These will include: simulated patient training exercises, and practical and theoretical teaching from the duty crew and consultants in pre-hospital care. There are audit projects for you to complete that may be submitted for publication or presentation at appropriate LAA meetings or national conferences. You may be given one or more opportunities to join the team on a night shift in the fast response car, or on a day shift with the Physician Response Unit as an observer. In this case, you would be considered to be one of the duty crew and would be present on any missions that might arise during that shift. On scene, you are under the direct supervision of the duty crew, who will also be responsible for your safety. You will be provided with all necessary personal protective and medical equipment, including boots and personal stab vests.
London’s Air Ambulance has a system of clinical governance that allows our duty crews to provide cutting edge pre-hospital care to our patients. Senior consultants in pre-hospital care maintain oversight of clinical and operational matters in order to ensure that everyone performs to the highest possible standard. Clinical governance is an ongoing process, but the most visible forms are the weekly death and disability meetings and the monthly clinical governance meeting. At D+D, difficult cases, cases that have required pre-hospital anaesthesia, and paediatric cases are discussed in a group setting with a consultant in pre-hospital care. There will also be a number of training scenarios on these days. The clinical governance meeting is open to colleagues from other services and hospital specialties and is an opportunity to formally review a number of cases, review relevant journal articles, invite guest speakers, and ensure that monthly audit standards are met. You will have the opportunity to attend several D+D sessions and at least one CGD. We believe that this degree of scrutiny and level of educational value is unique and we hope that you will enjoy the process.
Another key part of self-reflection and governance is the debrief system. All missions are debriefed by the duty crew, usually on the same day. This allows an opportunity to identify things that went well, and things that may be changed next time to make things run more smoothly. It is also an opportunity for any deviations from LAA SOPs to be identified and discussed. You will be asked to contribute to these debriefs as a member of the duty crew. Training scenarios are debriefed in a similar way. It is important to realise that debriefs offer a chance for constructive comments to be made and we have found that they are one of the most valuable learning tools that we have. There is an opportunity to complete an internal audit or a project during your time at LAA and you will be able to present your findings at a D+D session or CGD. We can discuss your audit and the completion of any paperwork or projects required by the medical school when you arrive.
We will arrange several teaching sessions to enable you to get an idea of some of the important practical aspects of pre-hospital care and the general management of the critically ill or injured patient. The duty crew will be able to share plenty of practical tips with you and you will have plenty of opportunity to practice with our training kit! We aim to run regular training scenarios. The scenario is set up to be as realistic as possible and they are almost always based on a real case seen and managed by one of the team. A doctor-paramedic team will participate in the scenario and it will be run, in real time, by another member of the aircrew, who will provide appropriate clinical information at relevant times. The crew participating in the scenario will be expected to do everything as if it was for real and we pay particular attention to ensure that the clinical condition of the patient is feasible and realistic. Some of the scenarios are difficult and we will try to recreate some of the stresses of a real job in order to enhance the training experience. The debrief for our training scenarios is the same as for live missions and you will be asked to contribute.
The Pre-hospital Care Programme, established in 2007, is a unique educational opportunity offered to medical students at Barts and the London School of Medicine, in collaboration with the London Ambulance Service (LAS) and the London's Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS). It offers a chance for selected students to become part of a structured programme, allowing them to gain early clinical exposure in the prehospital environment. It was the first of such programmes to be implemented in the UK. Click on the icon opposite or here to visit the PCP website.
London’s Air Ambulance
Royal London Hospital
Chris Hassan -