I am a fourth year mature medical student and currently on my obstetrics and gynaecology placement in the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital in Dublin. Many of my classmates are on their various clinical placements in the many teaching hospitals with whom RCSI is associated.
The past 10 months of life during a global pandemic have been difficult for everyone in so many ways. It has been quite the challenge for medical students to adapt to this new way of learning, but we’re getting there. It has been a fine balance between mitigating the risk of infection amongst us, while also ensuring we gain the clinical skills we need. The hospital environment has changed drastically, but also changed in ways to ensure we’re still learning.
Whilst we are on placement, we are kept safe in a number of ways. We are provided with appropriate PPE when engaging with patients. We are tested for COVID-19 regularly also whilst we rotate through the various hospitals.
Much of our teaching is conducted online now, and only what is necessary is conducted in person, which means we are in the hospitals less, but our time there is more efficient than it might have been previously. Online learning is a new challenge, but I can’t complain about the ability to have a cup of tea to hand more regularly than before.
Overall, it’s a privilege to still be able to continue to learn medicine during this time. We are learning from exceptional frontline staff during an unprecedented time and the experience is sure to shape our careers as healthcare professionals.
Evelyn Flynn, Mature Entry Medicine