My Year as a clinical fellow in Intensive Care Medicine

Fiona Walker

Last year I had the privilege of being an ICM clinical fellow at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, and I absolutely loved it. The city, the patients and the staff made it a year I’ll never forget.

As a bit of background, I wasn’t always planning to work in ICM. My initial plan was to specialise in Oncology, and I very much dreamt of spending the rest of my life wearing fabulous outfits and avoiding chaos as much as I could… Alas, a couple of medical school placements and a foundation job later I was a convert. Turns out scrubs and crocs are a much comfier combination anyway.

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Nutrition Protocols Won’t Treat a Patient as an Individual but a Dietitian Can

Samantha Cook

Leaving school I had little idea of what I wanted to be “when I grow up,” so I pursued my interests and choose to study BSc Biochemistry at the University of Birmingham.  Fast forward to my final year of study and I was little the wiser as to where I wanted my career to take me.  During finals my father underwent a Coronary Artery Bypass Graft and as part of his rehabilitation saw a dietitian – cue light-bulb moment

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Environmentally Sustainable Intensive Care

Heather Baid

Climate change is now considered to be a climate crisis because of the health emergency occurring from increasing carbon dioxide levels, rising temperatures, climbing sea levels, more frequent extreme weather events, worsening air pollution and loss of biodiversity1, 2

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Shining The Light Onto Radiology Requests

Derek Smith

As is often said of critical care teams, radiologists are another group who can be considered in the small cohort of the last few “true generalists”. Depending on the size of your hospital your radiologist will be doing anything from checking line placement on a CXR, removing a disabling MCA clot in an acute stroke patient, assessing a post-transplant liver in the unit on ultrasound, reducing a paediatric bowel intussusception, be scrubbed in securing a TEVAR in a aneurysm, or a combination of the above…

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Establishing an ICU follow up service and the COVID response – Tea & cake to Teams!

Lucy Hogg

“I could take a look at that!”  were the fateful words I uttered which led me and my colleagues on a journey of discovery into ICU follow-up and ultimately in us establishing a new service in our hospital. 

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Eyes on the Prize – Why is Eye Care Important?

Duncan Philp

Many patients in the ITU are unable to look after their own eyes so it is vitally important that we take care of them on their behalf. They are at higher risk of eye damage both as a result of their acute illness and due to the treatment they receive on ITU. 

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POCUS and the Sceptics

Alex Scott

As I was saying at the odd conference before we were so all so rudely interrupted, Point of Care Ultrasound is finally coming of age in the UK.  It has taken a while – the first diagnostic use of ultrasound was in the 1940s by a neurologist, a comparatively rapid pickup from the first demonstrations of Non-Destructive Testing for metals using ultrasound in 1928. 

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Recruitment Blog Double: Getting a job during a time of change & Recruitment as an IMG

Liz Thomas
Shashikumar Chandrashekaraiah

A recruitment blog double from Dr Liz Thomas and Dr Shashikumar Chandrashekaraiah.

Liz discusses getting a job in a time of change and Shashikumar tells us about recruitment as an IMG.

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Random Patient Generator

John Wilkinson, Janet Wilkinson, Sarah Redford, Matthew Faulds

Following on from Gilly Fleming’s blog in November where she gave a fantastic update on some of the ways teaching can adapt to the challenges of the pandemic, we wanted to share with you our experience of developing a new learning tool and applying it in such an unusual time.

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My path to critical care pharmacy and the FICM Pharmacy Sub-Committee

Emma Taylor

I originally chose to study pharmacy after being inspired by some family-friends who owned their own community pharmacy. I studied at Nottingham University, and only changed my mindset towards hospital pharmacy at the very end of my degree and managed to secure my Pre-Registration Pharmacist year in my local district general hospital. My training was excellent, I loved the clinical aspects of the job, and I was encouraged by the team to progress my career in hospital pharmacy.

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The Online Revolution: Playing your part as a Virtual Educator

Gilly Fleming

The COVID-19 pandemic is a global healthcare emergency and the NHS is facing an unprecedented crisis. During the first wave in March and April 2020, the immediate priority was understandably on clinical delivery of safe and efficient care for patients presenting with a novel disease process. This led to the suspension of many “non essential, non-covid” services, and included widespread disruption to medical education at all levels, from undergraduate to postgraduate.

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Max and Keira’s Law – The Bill That Was Pulled Out Of A Bowl

Claire Williment

Max and Keira’s Law came in to force on the 20th May 2020 and brought renewed hope to the thousands of people on the UK transplant waiting list. The legislation introduced ‘opt out’ as the legal basis for organ donation consent in England and is expected to lead to an additional 700 transplants a year. However, the path to getting the new legislation in place was far from smooth.

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Preparing for the FFICM (final) examination – an examiner’s view

Victoria Robson
FFICM Exam Chair

FFICM is a ‘high stakes’ exam taken by ICM trainees, and is mandatory before entry it stage 3 training. This article aims to give some tips and pointers to trainees who are preparing for this exam, written by an experienced FFICM examiner.  

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Working as an International Medical Graduate with a BAME Background during COVID-19

Shashi Chandrashekaraiah, Sushruth Raghunath, Avinash Jha, Arif Akbar, Ikenga Samuel & Mohammed Elshamy

International Medical Graduates (IMGs) account for approximately 25% of the current UK trainee doctor workforce and are predominantly of black Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds. There has been a lot of discussion during the current COVID-19 crisis about IMGs and their contribution to the NHS, VISA/Immigration health surcharge and the more important topic of increased mortality among BAME doctors from COVID-19.

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Who still believes in Santa and science?

Matt Morgan

As I look through my office window at yellowing patches of summer grass, it may seem strange to talk about Christmas. But these are strange times. I remember being told that there are three stages of life – first you believe in Santa, then you don’t believe in Santa, then you are Santa.

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The academic response to COVID-19

Tony Rostron

For those of us who contribute to patient facing research, there were signals in early March that our working lives were about to change. The safety implications related to recruitment of and sampling from patients in studies who were potentially infected with SARS-CoV-2 needed to be considered. As a result many NIHR portfolio studies, supported by their funders, decided to pause recruitment.

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#BetterTogether: The Critical Care Team

Sarah Clarke

One of the difficult jobs during this pandemic is not only our dedication and commitment to best care of our patients, but the supervision and support of those less familiar to the Critical Care environment. This may be our own trainees, but also others for whom the decision to come to our ‘space’ hasn’t necessarily been their own; and includes other specialty trainees, senior medical staff, nursing colleagues and allied health professionals.

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‘Stepping down’ from Critical Care and into freefall: a patient’s perspective

Catherine White

What happens to your patients once they leave ICU?

What may be the end of the story for critical care healthcare professionals is usually the beginning of a long, difficult and sometimes very lonely journey for patients and their relatives.

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Capacity in Critical Care

Kate Rimmer

The issue of mental capacity in the critical care environment can be fraught with difficulty and can cause anxiety to staff working in these environments.  It is important for all staff involved in the care of the critically ill to understand the law in relation to capacity and consent and have knowledge of the process of making a capacity assessment. 

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