Hammersmith Hospital Work Experience (Renal)

Chronic kidney disease is a huge health concern in this country afflicting more than millions of people in the United Kingdom. For these patients the only way patients can be in full remission is to receive a new kidney from a donor. Over the Easter holidays, Lloyd and Kangbo were both given the opportunity to work in the Renal Unit at Hammersmith hospital shadowing medical professionals and their different aspects of work.

Kangbo Gao 12T: During my work experience, I got a chance to join Professor Papalois, the head renal surgical consultant at Hammersmith hospital as well as his medical team. In the first couple of days, I was given the opportunity to see the inner workings of a multidisciplinary team by partaking in the weekly handover, through which I received an overview of different patients as well as their current medical conditions. Following this, I follow the clinical doctors in their ward rounds. In the next few days, I was able to go and see a wide range of surgeries in the operating theatre such as a heterotopic kidney transplants and arteriovenous graft fistulas. The overall experience gave me a valuable perspective of what doctors face on a day-to-day basis, additionally, it has made me see the challenges that doctors face on a day to day basis as well as make me realise the major impacts that doctors make on the patients’ lives.

Lloyd Walker 12Y: Unlike Kangbo, I spent my week shadowing by myself. I started on the 9th of April and was mentored for the week by Professor Papalois. After a late start and a quick change into some scrubs I was immediately thrown into the deep end being brought into a theatre surrounded by surgeons and a sedated person on the operating table, it set an immediate tone for what I’d spend the week doing. I spent the rest of the day in the Surgical Ward and got to witness a Kidney transplant, the cleaning of a fistula and the removal of a hernia.

I spent the next day in De Wardener ward shadowing the doctors and gaining an understanding of a day as a doctor. I was shown how patients are dealt with, how dialysis machines work and was also told lots about how I go about advancing in the medical degree.

The next few days were spent going back and forth between the clinics and shadowing surgeries until I finished on Friday. Overall it was an extremely useful experience giving an insight into hospital work and more importantly how I go about pursuing it.

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