Why do research - Claire Lawrence
Elective- When I was a second year student, I decided that I wanted to return to the ward where I now work for my elective (Emergency Assessment Unit). I had enjoyed my first placement there and I wanted to return and take part in an audit. When I was considering my future career as a PA, I noticed that a lot of PA job adverts listed 'QI/ Audit experience' as 'desirable'. Therefore the elective was a perfect chance to get this experience.
Before I started my elective, my supervisor and I met to discuss potential audit and QI projects. We found one that would fit well in the 2 week time frame. My audit analysed out of area ambulance attendances- looking at the reasons people came to Salford A+E instead of their local hospital. It involved a lot of trawling through ambulance sheets but gave me experience in data collection, analysis and once I had completed my audit, I presented my findings to the Consultant team in my department.
I'd highly recommend taking part in any form of research/ audit/ QI during your time as a student. This doesn't have to be part of an elective (I'm aware not all North West Universities offer an elective placement). During longer placements, I'd advise seeking out any audit opportunities to broaden your experience and increase employability at the end of the PA course.