Volunteer For Medical Training

Junior doctors attending the Scottish Centre for Simulation and Clinical Human Factors, based at Forth Valley Royal Hospital, were surprised to find a real ‘live’ patient in the midst of the high-tech mannekins whom they normally examine, diagnose and treat.

Margo Biggs, a former Stirling High teacher who lives in Falkirk (pictured with Simulation Fellow Dr Michael Stallard) was acting as a volunteer simulated patient on a training course designed to deal with issues which could arise on a ward round. She is one of a handful of local people who have offered their services – but more volunteers are urgently needed.

The Centre’s Education Co-ordinator, Tanya Somerville, explained: “We need people of all ages as we are trying to build up a simulated patient bank. Our volunteers have been taking part in a course to help foundation doctors cope with typical ward problems such as communication difficulties, antibiotic prescribing and dealing with relatives whilst perhaps being interrupted.”

Bringing ‘live’ patients into training sessions has generated very positive feedback. Doctors have spoken of very accurate scenarios which have generated interesting case discussions. They have also been presented with a number of difficult situations which they say has proved extremely valuable as they haven’t had to deal with them before.

The Centre is also hoping to enlist volunteers for another course for GP training. Tanya Somerville explained: “You can get irate patients and patients whose first language isn’t English so there are all sorts of challenges for doctors to deal with. A large number of junior doctors do a GP rotation so this would be especially beneficial to their career. It would be good if we could get volunteers who would be interested in taking part.”

Anyone who would like to volunteer should contact the Centre direct on 01324 567412 or email: fv-uhb.scschf@nhs.net