Is there a doctor in the house? Medical Mavericks with Airedale Academy

Date: 2 July 2018
Location: Airedale Academy
Time: 9.00 – 2.30pm


Medical Mavericks ran workshops for some very lucky Year 9 and Year 10 students about the different careers available post 16. Beth, a 3rd year medical student, showed students an array of medical tests that they could try for themselves in this fantastic, hands-on workshop.

Up first, students had a go at trying to take blood from an arm that medical students use before they are allowed on real patients. The veins and arteries are based on a real arm, so blood could be taken at certain points, such as the arm or hand, which proved more difficult than a lot anticipated it would be!

Students tried out basic medical tests, such as taking blood pressures, temperatures, heights, peak flows using a spirometer, hearing tests using tuning forks, and looking at their veins through an IR camera. Some groups were also lucky enough to take a picture of their retina at the back of their eye.

An interesting part of the workshop was using the pathology goggles. There were 8 different goggles that simulated different diseases, such as losing part of your vision to a stroke, having tunnel vision through glaucoma, the visual disturbances through migraines and other ailments!

Everyone received an ECG to be able to calculate their resting heart rate and identify the PQRS complex. We also got to see how a person with a pacemaker’s ECG looks different and how the PQRS complex looks different – even Beth was fascinated and she took an extra copy for herself!

Students also got the opportunity to try key hole surgery with two levels of difficulty – one involved manipulating the tools to place an elastic band into a jig and the more difficult one included threading a shoelace through a small hole; it was infuriatingly fun.

Finally, the budding surgeons used actual sutures to close a simulated wound, which required a steady hand and lots of patience.

It was a brilliant day and the students thoroughly enjoyed themselves (as did the staff). Thank you to Beth and Medical Mavericks for the workshops, as well as to head teacher Elizabeth Fairhurst and Assistant Principal for Raising Achievement TimTim Chambers for their involvement in the day.


By Tracey Heptinstall, Higher Education Progression Officer at Airedale Academy