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Hi my name is James Currell. I’m an Economics student currently on placement within the Leeds Teaching Hospitals’ Costing Team.
Working within NHS finance ideally requires an understanding of the practises undertaken by Clinical staff to treat our patients, so that we can better support them in providing the best possible care. I was recently given an opportunity to witness a Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy (PEG) insertion following my involvement with a Motor Neuron Disease (MND) paper, which evaluated the benefits of patients receiving a PEG compared with those who did not. From my earlier blog, a PEG is a device used to provide nutrition to a patient directly into their stomach, through the use of a feeding tube.
It was great to see first-hand what my work was supporting. I won’t go into detail regarding how the PEG is inserted for the sake of any squeamish readers. However I will say the insertion method is very non-invasive, causing as little discomfort to the patient as possible - some even opt to have the procedure without a sedative The PEG is pulled down through the throat from a small hole in the stomach lining, thus eliminating the need to create any large incisions.
I was very impressed by the level of care and attention to detail each of the clinical team members gave to ensure the operation went as smoothly as possible and I am very grateful to them for letting me watch them work.
These sorts of experiences can help change someone’s understanding of what they are working to support. They are enriching to the roles of any finance staff member, but in particular to a placement student like myself. It helped me to understand exactly how the process was undertaken, resonating with the clinical and finance data I’d previously helped to collate, interpret and present.
Observing what takes place in a clinical setting is something I would recommend to all finance colleagues, as it’s a great reminder that patients are at the centre of what we are all here to do. I don’t believe many other placements would offer such a diverse range of opportunities to learn and improve, and I am grateful to members of the Costing Team for encouraging and arranging for this to take place.
I hope to have the opportunity to witness more clinical work in the future.