In May, some of our Year 12 Health & Social Care students, Bame Malomar, Baran Komur, Tajai Brown and Evangeline Appiah-Nuamah, took part in the Gap Medics scheme in La Romana, Dominican Republic. Gap Medics is a specialist company dedicated to providing year-round hospital work experience for medicine, midwifery, nursing and dentistry abroad to students 16 years and over and the students who are all interested in careers in medicine (Midwives, Nurses, Doctors or Surgeons) were able to take part in a once in a lifetime experience, carrying out hands on work experience in a hospital in La Romana.
Bame and Tajai are interested in exploring midwifery as a career and were allocated a Midwife to mentor them. The Midwife met them every morning at 8am so they could begin their days experiencing natural births and caesareans and were spared none of the grisly details. The staff at the hospital were incredibly kind and worked very hard to ensure that students were safe but very much involved in the day to day life of a midwife. Bame and Tajai were able to stand in theatre with the expectant mothers during the birthing process. They now know for sure they are not squeamish (making midwifery a viable career for them) and were able to watch and ask questions throughout the procedure. They also had the opportunity to hold some of the newborn babies which was probably everyone’s favourite moment!
Whilst the new trainee midwives were getting stuck in, our budding doctors, Baran and Evangeline, were also being introduced to the fast paced life of a surgeon. Their mentors, who were both top surgeons at the local hospital and private hospital, were incredibly patient and generous with their time. On only the third day, Baran and Evangeline learned how to stitch flesh wounds on a pigs hoof from the local butchers. Pig skin is very similar to human skin so this was an incredibly realistic experience for them. They were given all the tools that a surgeon would use and became very adept with a needle. They were given lots of praise from the surgeons who were highly impressed with their sewing skills. One surgeon even commented that it had taken him weeks to master what the students mastered in one hour!
It wasn’t all work and no play, after work, students had time to take part in activities, visiting the Ninos de Cristos Orphanage for boys, stopping off to buy toys for the children. The afternoon was spent with the adorable young boys playing puzzles, basketball, dominoes and racing cars.
Other activities on the trip included off-roading in dune buggies through the sugar cane fields (stopping off for a little taster) and driving down to the Chavón River, swimming, sunbathing, shopping in local souvenir stores (where Baran did his best to find a bargain), banana boating in the ocean, eating lovely local meals and general appreciation of the beautiful environment.
Evangeline Appiah-Nuamah said “The Gap Medics program was incredible. It was an eye opening experience that allowed me to gain an honest insight into the life of what it’s like to be a medical professional.”
Congratulations to the students for being such a credit to themselves and the Academy on the trip, to Miss Clark for supervising it and the Health & Social Care team for creating and supporting a trip which the students agreed was an incredibly rewarding experience.