As an Emergency Medicine Consultant you will find no two days are the same. EM physicians need to be flexible & enjoy the challenge of working in an environment that is unpredictable. We have contact with many different professional groups and deal with patients from 0 – 100 + years every day – excellent communication skills are mandatory for the job.
Clinical work includes shop-floor working in the different areas of the department; most have resuscitation areas for critically ill patients, majors areas for those with conditions requiring monitoring, minor injury & illness areas and paediatric areas. Some departments will also cover walk-in centres and nurse led minor injury units and may have primary care areas co-located. This variety of clinical areas allows you to maintain clinical skills, continually improve professional knowledge and develop strong inter-professional relationships. Clinical workload also includes review clinics for musculoskeletal injuries, ward rounds of Clinical Decision Units (CDU’s), some departments will also take responsibility for inpatient care e.g. head injuries not requiring neurosurgical intervention. On a daily basis you will be responsible for supervising a range of multi-disciplinary professionals, as well as managing departmental flow. EM physicians need to make time critical decisions and be able to interpret clinical information to determine the best management options available.
As a Consultant in EM you will also take on roles outside of direct clinical contact with patients. Teaching & educational supervision of medical trainees and those from other disciplines involves formal & informal teaching, many EM consultants choose to develop this interest by taking further qualifications in medical education and holding university roles. Audit & clinical governance form central parts to development of services, EM consultants are experts in using these tools to inform their departmental management & services provision. This includes supervision of clinical audit, complaints meetings, reviewing xray reports, incident reporting and investigation. Research is key to the development of practice in EM, several departments are involved in international research projects as well as generating their own research programmes. Liaison with other specialties and working together to improve services is vital, as is participation on trust and national committees where decisions will influence EM working.