Hi I’m Cat, and I’m a month away from finishing my first clinical placement (CP1) at King’s Mill Hospital (KMH) near Mansfield. There are about 40 medical students from my year here, and there are many reasons why being on placement outside Nottingham is great (even if the idea seems pretty scary at first!)
We are given free accommodation, (which is very similar to living in halls again), and the building is divided into flats of four en-suite bedrooms which all share a communal area consisting of a fully equipped kitchen and living space with a TV. In addition to that there’s a big Morrison’s supermarket right next to the accommodation, which is very affordable and saves you having to go a long way to get groceries! One of the best things about having accommodation on-site means that it’s not far to go to get to lectures/clinics/wards, which means you don’t have to get up too early!
Having fewer people at KMH means that lecture sizes are smaller (either 20 or 40 students), meaning that lecturers will often treat teaching sessions as tutorials and quiz you on your knowledge. Although this can be intimidating at first, I’ve found that it has helped me to consolidate my learning and understand the topics better. As well as this, having fewer people means that often you’ll be known by name (a bit of a change from previous years!), and you’ll get to know other people in your year better, including GEM students whom you meet for the first time when starting CP1! As well as this, you’ll get more opportunity to get involved on the wards as the healthcare professionals get to know you, and you’ll get to meet students from different universities (nursing students from the University of Lincoln often come here).
Medicine & Surgery
The structure of CP1 varies slightly between the different hospitals, and the way that it’s run here is to divide everyone into two groups: one group will do 7 weeks of Medicine first, and the other will do Surgery before swapping over. When doing Medicine you’ll be attached to two wards for 3 weeks each (I was on a respiratory ward, then a cardiology ward) as well as a week where you’ll be on the Emergency Admissions Unit. In Surgery you’re allocated to one team for the entire 7 weeks, although you’ll spend a week on the Surgical Admissions Unit, and another on Trauma and Orthopaedics. The timetable is not as busy as other hospitals, which gives you plenty of time to spend time on the wards practising clinical skills (such as taking blood), and taking histories from patients with a range of different conditions.
Life outside the hospital
As for life outside of the hospital, there’s weekly local pub quizzes, a lake just across the road, you can chill with other medics or you can head back to Nottingham which is around 40 minutes drive away. Being close enough to Nottingham to drive back for an evening means that you can still stay involved with societies and make the most of seeing friends who are graduating in the summer!
Hopefully this has given you a flavour of what CP1 is like at King’s Mill, and shown that living away from Nottingham definitely has its benefits!