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As fourth-year King's College London medical students, we have read this article with great enthusiasm and felt we could identify with the concerns raised. We want to offer an additional perspective.
In terms of direct hazards, we have noticed that some of our colleagues have felt unsafe on specific placements. This is undoubtedly the case in psychiatry where patients may, unfortunately, become verbally abusive and at times physically intimidating.
Additional concerns may arise when students are placed peripherally in areas where there is a substantial crime. This can involve anything from petty theft to more serious crimes like muggings.
A clinical risk that we have been well trained to anticipate and handle are needlestick injuries. This is an example of adequate preparation making us feel more comfortable, i.e. working with sharps despite risks involved.
There are times when senior staff expectations are exceedingly high, and due to indirect risks such as stress and burnout, us students may fail to reach these standards. In some instances, lack of support and understanding perpetuate the cycle of stress. We have, however, noticed that this is less likely to occur when students have a longitudinal supervisor.
Overall we understand that certain risks are unavoidable, and we appreciate the vast number of measures in place aimed at safeguarding against risks and hazards during clinical placements. From our experience as medical stu...
Overall we understand that certain risks are unavoidable, and we appreciate the vast number of measures in place aimed at safeguarding against risks and hazards during clinical placements. From our experience as medical students, we find that these interventions are mainly aimed at direct risks and hazards with the indirect types being overlooked.
We propose that students be made more aware of the types of indirect hazards they may encounter and better equip them to escalate concerns. This can take many forms, such as lectures, debriefing sessions, reflective practice and of course, one on one meetings with longitudinal supervisors.