Local health charity Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke has taken part in a joint initiative with Queen’s University Belfast where third year medical students meet respiratory patients in the community. The aim of the Student Selected Component, as these sessions are known, is to allow the doctors of the future to gain an insight into what it is like to live with a long term chest condition.
Six students took part in the project, spending time with NICHS’s respiratory support groups and its Health and Homeless programme. Respiratory Services Project Coordinator, Pauline Millar, organised a special seminar for the students to outline the care pathway that Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke offers people with respiratory conditions and explain how the support offered by the charity complements the care given by healthcare professionals.
Upon learning about the Respiratory Services that NICHS offers, the third year medical students agreed that they give patients a source of help and advice outside of the clinical environment. One added, “I believe this service is life-changing.”
Paddy Lynas from Belfast who has bronchiectasis, added, “I think this is a great idea. It is really important that the next generation of doctors understand what it is like to live with a long term health condition. I wish these students all the best in their future careers and hope they remember what they have learnt today.”
Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke has Respiratory Support Groups across Northern Ireland. Details can be found at here.