The Acute Medicine Unit (AMU) can seem to operate very differently from other departments and rarely are two days the same. In this article we shall paint a picture of the AMU by running through some daily tasks.
Morning huddle or board round, whichever phrase your Trust uses to describe it, your day is likely to start with a team meeting. The purpose of which is to give a summary of the patients in the ward outlining new and unwell persons. This facilitates allocation of the daily tasks required for the day to progress, and identify and resolve any delays in the patient's hospital stay. This enhances the patients experience and reduces the risk factors associated with a prolonged hospital stay
As a middle grade doctor you will be expected to gather notes for the patients under your care for the consultant to examine. By this point you will have highlighted the present problems that must be solved, mentioning the most recent tests, bloodwork, and observations. You then share these results with the consultant before going to see the patient together.
Following this you will get assigned to your locations, some will start at the Same Day Emergency Clinic, which is a new rapid access clinic for the acute medical patients that can be sorted and discharged, others will share in the ward rounds to care for the patients that were admitted during the previous night shift and make sure that plans are in order while the remaining team will manage the new patients that require admission.
As the AMU has a lot of unwell patients the crash bleep can go off at any point which makes for an important learning opportunity to brush up your ALS skills. In addition to this, the whole concept of “teamwork” is applied in Acute Medicine to make sure that each and every patient gets a senior care at least once during their stay and care generally extends beyond the hospital stay to safeguarding the patient in the community.
The end of the day there will be another huddle to hand over the unit to the evening team.
“Acute medicine is an exciting specialty where not two shifts are the same. Almost every case we come across is a mystery to solve. And for people who like to work with their hands it's so suitable as you get to perform a variety of procedures. I definitely recommend a career in Acute Medicine for anyone who asks.”
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