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3 February 2022

Cardiac Physiologists at Frimley Health have welcomed their first ever student on a placement programme.

Gracie Taylor, a first-year BSC (Hons) Healthcare Science student at the University of Southampton, is spending two valuable weeks observing Cardiac Physiologists as they record, monitor and analyse electrocardiograms (ECGs), perform echocardiograms and produce clinical reports.

They also apply 24-hour blood pressure and heart monitors and analyse the data, programme pacemakers in the Cardiac Cath Lab during the implantation, and lead follow-up clinics and observe angiograms and emergency primary PCI for heart attack patients.

Gracie will be followed in April by two further Southampton students – another first year, this time on a six-week placement, and a second-year who will be with the department for three months. Early proposals are also in place to welcome a third-year student from 2023.

The student placement programme has been driven by Senior Cardiac Physiologist Oomesh Kishto (aka Kish), who witnessed the benefits of a similar initiative while working at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth.

He has used his links with the University of Southampton, where he studied and often returns as a guest speaker, to build the programme at Frimley Health.

Kish said: “I believe that students on placement enhance your department, make it brighter and ensure your team continue to progress their own knowledge and skills to allow them to teach effectively.

“Sometimes students will have had placements at other trusts and will bring with them the knowledge and skills that they developed there. And in turn, when they go to another trust having previously worked with us at Frimley, they can demonstrate what they learned here.

“If you train a student well, they become competent, and that competence and those skills reflect well on Frimley Health. It puts our department on the map and enhances our reputation, which in turn will help us to recruit staff in the future.”

Gracie, from Basingstoke, will take the knowledge she gains at Frimley to her next placement at the Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital in May.

Kish and the team are also working on proposals for a new Frimley Health Cardiac Physiologist Apprenticeship scheme to build on the workforce of Cardiac Physiologists. They aim to recruit at all the three main sites – Frimley Park, Wexham Park and Heatherwood ­– and the scheme could start later this year.

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