On Saturday 9th November we saw the sixth College of Paramedics UK Student Paramedic Conference, which was held in the centre of Birmingham. The venue was bursting and the exhibitors beaming, all with a collective aim to develop the profession. As the organising group, our main aim of the conference was to bridge the gap between education and practice.
The conference’s keynote speaker was Professor Sir Keith Porter who captured the audience with his discussion on our past, present and future. The ReSPECT Process was explained to us by Dr Surendra Kumar and the importance of giving patients personalised care. We learnt that the plan holds far more information than that of a 'Do Not Attempt Resuscitation' form. The break was filled with tasty refreshments and workshops including the importance of feedback delivered by Jordan Nicholls and how it doesn’t have to be negative, and research and clinical practice with Professor Julia Williams.
Values are personal and individual, and they change as we evolve as people. Andy Thomas, brought Star Wars themed top tips including how to remove the fear as an NQP and to trust your knowledge. Next up was Andrea James, Solicitor to the College, who talked us through the regulatory process with examples, causing some deep inhalations from the attendees. A banquet was laid out for lunch, and delegates networked with future employers and colleagues. We proudly supported the Royal British Legion, raising money for an apt cause given the time of year and also welcomed The UK Sepsis Trust, as one of the exhibitors, a charity which raises awareness of the condition which kills 52,000 people a year.
The afternoon sessions began with Aimee Yarrington, Paramedic and Midwife, who brought us a live sim of a breach birth, reminding us of ‘bum to tum’ and how dimming the lights can improve the atmosphere for mum. Transient Loss of Consciousness (TLoC) was discussed by Alex Ulrich, who highlighted that a single red flag should mean further testing at hospital and there are many causes of loss of consciousness.
Workshops in the break once again allowed more delegates to discuss event medicine, an exciting specialty, delivered by Andy Thomas and Georgette Eaton who looked at Referrals and CVL Conversations.
With his session on Health inequalities, Shaun McBride reminded us that not all patients are as fortunate as others, we should actively encourage service users to register with a GP and support them if they are struggling to do so and if the GP surgery refuses to oblige, consider reporting them. Ashley Richardson then reminded us that underneath our green uniform, we are still human, we do make mistakes and we should learn from these errors with his session on Human Factors.
Joel Symonds closed the conference with a heartfelt, hard-hitting message that we should look out for one another. Laughter is important, and so is our mental health. We invited The Ambulance Staff Charity (TASC) to exhibit for this reason. Look after yourself.
Do you want to be part of this huge event? Save the date – 7th November 2020.
Review by Alice Foxen, UK Student Paramedic Conference committee member.