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Working in A&E: A Journey To Another World

Hospital. The final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Studenterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new wards, to seek out new departments and new specialities, to boldly go where no medic has gone before.

Our first stop – working in A&E.

Medic’s Log: A.N.E. Spacestation

Working in A&E
Working in A&E

The Basics

The first stop on the Studenterprise’s tour of the NHS galaxy is the A.N.E. Spacestation, a bustling, overcrowded hive of activity, and the first port of call for many visitors to the Health Cosmos.

The Spacestation’s purpose is to provide a robust initial assessment of in-distress visitors (whose degrees of distress can fall anywhere between “my thumb’s been hurting for a few weeks and I was getting worried” to “omigod there’s a railroad spike stuck in my chest”), ensuring that any immediate threat to life is resolved, before sending them off to the appropriate specialty planet for further care.

Environment

Any Studenterprise crew that dock at A.N.E. will be awed by the sheer volume of visitors. Whether brought in by Health Cosmos patrol vehicles or having taken their own intergalactic transportation, visitors flock in droves to receive care, sometimes overwhelming the constellation’s capacity.

Only in A.N.E. will you go into a store cupboard for a catheter pack, only to find a somewhat bemused visitor sat inside, being examined in the one room in the entire station that wasn’t  already packed with visitors (this “efficient” use of rooms also means that you will have somebody to hold things while you gather your equipment – result!).

The nigh-relentless influx of visitors sometimes gives A.N.E. a hostile atmosphere, with tempers flaring on both the side of the impatient visitors, and the stressed, overwhelmed indigenous nurses and doctors. At these points, crew members are advised to steer clear, as interference will most likely further irritate the angered party – try to stay in the station’s cooler climes, as this normally reaps the greatest learning and experience benefits.

Indigenous Lifeforms

Species that live on the Spacestation’s hectic, oft-hostile environment must be calm, clever and calculated in order to hold back the waves of visitors. Their job description sounds simple yet intimidating – stop visitors from dying right this second, then send them off for expert specialty care – and requires that they be Jacks-of-all-specialties and absolute masters of ABCDE – the ancient art of keeping patients acutely alive. Master this, it’ll definitely be in your finals.

The natives are used to interacting with members of the Studenterprise’s crew, making them excellent teachers on a wealth of topics. Many even make use of crew, allowing them to perform tasks of lower difficulty and risk. This Provides valuable training for the crew and dealing with tasks that would otherwise be mundane to them (nowhere else will you find such a number of patients in need of cannulation!).

But crew members need to know their limits. An individual is only useful to the natives if they actually complete activities. A native may become impatient if they have to redo every procedure because of a crew members failings. Ensure that you observe and practice the skills a couple times before boldly stepping up to the plate (or rather, the bedside). Don’t worry about letting chances go to waste. Whatever skill needed doing will again need doing three or four more times within the next hour or so…

Uploaded by Eric Richardson on 6th October 2016

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