Retrievals Registrar Kate Clayton graduated from the Graduate Entry programme at St George's in 2008. Here she talks to us about her current job in Queensland, Australia, some of the things she loves and some of her fondest memories of St George's.
Tell us a little bit about your current role: what exactly is a retrievals service?
It’s an emergency medical service that is delivered through flights - be that helicopters, fixed wing or jet aircraft. We retrieve patients - either from the scene (primary retrievals) or from other healthcare facilities (secondary retrievals) and also international and long distance retrievals.
How did you get involved in aeromedical retrieval medicine?
I attended a College of Emergency Medicine study day in the UK on the international dimensions of emergency medicine, and was inspired by a presentation by a previous Careflight Registrar about his experiences. At the time I was too junior to apply for a post but a few years later this opportunity arose and I applied for it.
Can you tell us a bit about one of your most memorable experiences in aeromedical medicine?
Gosh...that's a hard one! One of my most memorable was a retrieval of a terminally ill patient. The patient had become unwell on holiday, and his wife was desperate for him to die close to home and family. He was on a ventilator, and incredibly unstable; so in normal circumstances would not have been moved. It was a stressful six hour flight and in truth we all doubted that he would survive the journey, but somehow we made it! When we arrived in the intensive care unit in Melbourne we were met with huge hugs from his family - their warmth and gratitude for our care was so incredibly touching.
What were you doing before you applied for the graduate entry medicine programme and why did you apply?
Before I came to St George’s to study medicine I was working as a Sister in Accident and Emergency. After several years of nursing, I felt that I still wanted to continue learning, and also to take on more responsibility for patient care decisions. Moving into medicine was a natural progression.
What are your fondest memories of St George’s?
Academically, I would have to say Professor Deborah Bowman's lectures. I always found them stimulating and challenging. My interest in ethics and law started from there, and I subsequently completed a Master's degree in Ethics and law at Manchester University. Socially, my fondest memories are of sampling all the wonderful curry houses around Tooting!
What plans do you have for the future?
Next year I plan to return to the UK, in order to complete my specialist training in Emergency Medicine. Beyond that I plan to complete my training to consultant level and then work in prehospital and/ or aeromedical medicine.
Retrievals Registrar Kate Clayton graduated from the Graduate Entry programme at St George's in 2008. Here she talks to us about her jobs, some of the things she loves and some of her fondest memories of St George's.Anaesthetist Kathryn Lloyd-Thomas graduated from St George's in 2000 after studying Medicine. Here she talks to us about her jobs, some of the things she loves, some which she loves to hate and her memories of St George's. - See more at: http://www.sgul.ac.uk/alumni/news-alumni/five-minutes-with-kathryn-lloyd-thomas#sthash.AZWvgU8w.dpuf