Hear from our Heroes: Student of the Year

Published: 03 Sep 2020

Last year, I was awarded the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership Audit Hero award for Student of the Year. Now, I’m encouraging healthcare professionals to nominate their students for recognition of their quality improvement (QI) work at university.

I have been very fortunate to be able to participate in multiple QI projects throughout university. This started in my second year, when I worked with another medical student and design students from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design to redesign the waiting room of Ninewells Hospital Emergency Department, NHS Tayside. Responding to feedback from patients, we created a journey map to display the various pathways through the Emergency Department (ED). We managed to improve reported understanding of the journey through the ED and understanding of staff uniforms with this work. From here, I then self-proposed a piece of improvement work in my local ED at University Hospital Wishaw, where we explored the use of a senior decision maker at triage to improve patient flow through the department.

At the University of Dundee, we have the opportunity to complete an intercalated Bachelors of Medical Science degree in Healthcare Improvement between our third and fourth year of medical school. I was lucky to get a place on this programme, and completed a research project implementing regular care experience feedback collection from patients with dementia in a Medicine for the Elderly rehabilitation ward in NHS Tayside.

It was great to have this work formally recognised by the HQIP Audit Hero award, it has allowed a platform for sharing some of the work I’ve been part of which I hope may be transferrable to other clinical areas in other hospitals. As well as this, I’ve been able to add it to my portfolio, a key part of my assessment for completing medical school.

Students are an excellent resource for QI work as they can have more time to dedicate to a project than clinicians may have. We benefit from gaining experience in QI methodology, which may be required of us during our Foundation Years and beyond.

Ultimately, QI works to improve patient experience and safety and having a platform to share this work with other students and healthcare professionals has the potential to benefit more patients. If you know a medical, nursing or AHP student who has completed a piece of QI work which you would like to see recognised, please consider nominating them for the HQIP Audit Hero Awards 2020.

Sophie Corbett
Final year medical student at the University of Dundee.

To find out how to make a nomination for the 2020 Audit Heroes Awards, visit our dedicated awards page