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"GUCH Nurses are heroes!"

One of the many ways that we work to support young people and adults born with a heart condition is through supporting medical students who wish to work in the treatment of ACHD. We have recently been working to fund James, a final year medical student at Magdalen College, University of Oxford, with his placement within the Cardiothoracic Department of University Hospital Southampton, working with GUCH patients. 

James let us know how he the placement went;

"As a final year medical student with an interest in Cardiology, congenital heart disease is an important subject for my potential future career but it is only briefly covered at medical school. With the help of the Somerville Foundation I was fortunate enough to be able to spend a week with the Adult Congenital Heart Disease team at Southampton General Hospital to improve my knowledge of congenital heart disease and to meet patients who had grown up into adulthood with their heart conditions.

I was struck by the variety of techniques involved in managing congenital heart disease. From the multitude of imaging techniques to electrophysiology, minimally invasive interventional procedures to cardiothoracic surgery, treating congenital heart disease really does draw on expertise from all corners of Cardiology.

During my time with the team I met some fantastic people. I learnt about the important role of ACHD nurse specialists in transitioning between paediatric and adult care, supporting patients prior to and post-surgery and have learnt about the fantastic work done by the GUCH specialist nurses to make this process as smooth as possible. Heroes! Acting as invaluable direct access for patients to the ACHD team. Perhaps most importantly I got a great sense of the on-going issues affecting patients with congenital heart disease including pregnancy, physical activity limitation and the considerably large amount of time spent in medical care. Congenital heart disease provides challenges to patients in so many aspects of life and it is a privilege as a clinician to help patients to navigate these. 

I would like to thank the Somerville Foundation for helping to fund my placement and the whole congenital heart disease team at Southampton General Hospital for making me feel so welcome. In particular, I would like to thank Doctor Tony Salmon for organising the placement and giving his time to teach me and Doctor Liz Orchard in Oxford for helping me to arrange the placement as part of my course."



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