11 August 2015 Jake Kim, Nicholas Li   | News | Year 11  
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Westmead work experienceOn the 13th of July, Monday, instead of sleeping in, relishing the final day of the school holidays, Ben Ngyuen, Ashwin Surrendran, Dylan Tran, Nicholas Li and I, Jake Kim, were on the train to Westmead at 7:30am with bleary eyes. Feeling a mixture of worry and anticipation, we walked into Westmead Hospital where we would be “working” for a week, following nurses.

We were all to be separated during the course of our work-experience, each us being assigned to different specialised wards. I was assigned to the Neuro-science ward, where patients with neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s, motor-neurone, ALS and patients who suffered from epilepsy and frequent seizures were diagnosed and nursed. Admittedly, my first day was not great.  The interaction I had with the nurse I was following were quite minimal and the amount of things I couldn’t see and do were prolific. On the following day, however, I was bombarded with work and exposed to the bustling atmosphere of the medical field. The things I got to do ranged from pure observation, helping the nurses with paper-work, making beds, taking patients’ OBS (observing patients’ temperature, blood pressure and neurological awareness) and talking and socialising with the patients. Throughout the week I felt as if I was getting used to the work until I witnessed a somewhat confronting scenario. Alarms blared through the ward as nurses and doctors rushed into a room and held down a thrashing patient, injecting him with a needle. It was later explained to me that seizures were quite common and as the seizure is occurring, the doctors and nurses have to be there immediately to inject the patient with a radioactive isotope which will display which part of the brain or the nervous system that is causing the seizure. This is quite difficult as seizures occur spontaneously. The neurologists and neurosurgeons use this information to help the patient through surgical procedures. Personally, I took away so many things from my experience at Westmead Hospital. I felt that nurses are the backbone to a hospital. Without them, running shifts from day to night and night to day, patients cannot be treated with care and comfort. Furthermore, I’ve learnt that being a doctor or nurse does not only mean you are well educated in health or medicine. It’s about communicating and understanding their story, to be able to laugh with them and to be able to cry with them. If there’s one more thing I’ve learnt from my experience at Westmead, it’s that there is no greater satisfaction than being called a doctor, even if it was by accident.                                                                    

– Jake Kim


During my time at Westmead hospital as a work experience student, it opened many meaningful insights of how a hospital operated and how nurses worked in the hospital. I was placed in the respiratory medicine ward where nurses and doctors helped treat patients with respiratory conditions such as asthma, chronic airways limitation, pneumonia, cystic fibrosis and many more. I observed procedures that nurses had to follow in order to treat a patient properly and even had the chance to apply the procedures myself. The hands on experience was thoroughly enjoyable as I got to use equipment that allowed me to further experience what it felt to be a nurse in a working environment. I found it hard to catch my breath as the nurses skillfully manoeuvered around the ward, dancing between patients and slapping their backs in hopes to help them breathe easily.                                                       

– Nicholas Li