Medical Mavericks visit to Wycliffe College on Tues 9 Oct 2018
To celebrate the NHS 70th Birthday this year, we invited in Medical Mavericks to educate us about some of the 350 roles that the NHS currently provide and to enable Years 9 – 11 to have a play with some truly awesome medical kit with which to observe our own bodies & systems.
The Medical Mavericks team consisted of Katie, a just-qualified Paramedic and Sam, a recently-qualified Biochemist who talked us through all the various medical equipment first, so we could understand how they worked and how to use them safely.
Armed with our own, blank, medical chart we proceeded around the hall, taking measurements and filling in the various sections of our charts. First up was a height chart followed by a peak flow (respiratory) test. Katie was on hand to conduct a retina scan for those that didn’t mind bright lights! Blood pressure arm wraps and an infra-red body temperature scanner provided further information whilst refluxes were tested with a reflex hammer & hearts were listened to with a stethoscope. We used an Electrocardiogram (ECG) monitor & printed out our results then moved across the hall to the ultrasound machine, where, with a flat probe, we were able to tell from our bones (and more specifically from the presence of growth plates) whether we were going to grow any further! We listened to our blood pumping through our arteries with a Pulse Doppler and viewed our veins with an infra-red vein scanner. Continuing with the blood theme, blood was taken from ‘Andy’ arm (a rubber arm with red food colouring and water as ‘blood’) with a real syringe which gave a few students the chance to address their squeamishness regarding both blood & needles. Those with aspirations to become a surgeon had the opportunity to perform key-hole surgery using long precision tools to move a rubber band around pegs (to form a figure of eight) and also to thread a shoelace through fine eyelets, with only a screen in front to direct you. Tuning forks tested hearing and goggles simulating various visual impairments (including through alcohol) gave students an insight (no pun intended) into what it feels like to be without perfect vision.
Labels clearly defining the medical practitioners that use each bit of kit and the A level grades required for these roles, maximised the educational value of this truly inspiring & exciting day!