University of Exeter Students deliver top medical care to revellers at Glastonbury
Exeter students deliver top medical care to revellers at Glastonbury
Nursing and medical students from the University of Exeter put their learning into action by volunteering in the delivery of first-rate medical care to festival goers at this year's Glastonbury event.
A mixture of students from both the University’s Exeter and Truro campuses volunteered to be first responders at the festival, to gain real-life experience in responding to incidents and illnesses at one of the biggest festivals in the UK.
Ahead of the festival, students received special training through which they gained medical qualifications that will contribute to their medical and nursing degrees. Their training covered aspects such as basic life support and management of shock and burns to prepare them for the potential severity of cases that they were expected to respond to at the 191-acre site, which accommodated more than 100,000 music fans.
Due to COVID-19, this was the first time Glastonbury was held in person since 2019, at which the Exeter medical students also volunteered.
Lucy Reason, a fifth year Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery student and one of the student volunteers said: ‘’I decided to go because I thought It’d a great opportunity academically to broaden my insight into pre-hospital care which is a speciality I am looking to pursue as a career. It also gave me a chance to unwind and socialise with friends at a great festival. I feel very lucky to have been offered the opportunity.
‘’I hope to be able to bring my qualifications and knowledge back to university when I resume my studies in September. Glastonbury has shown that learning medicine and having fun with your peers is possible and this is something I will continue to value and carry throughout my training.’’
Rosa Quinn, a second year student nurse who also volunteered said: ‘’I signed up to be a first responder as I’ve attended other festivals previously and have seen the hard work and dedication their medical teams give to festival goers and so I wanted to do the same at Glastonbury.
‘’This experience has been extremely valuable to me as it has enhanced my clinical skills and ability to respond quickly in an emergency. It has also opened up further opportunities within my future career as a nurse.’’
The opportunity for the students arose through the University’s partnership with Festival Medical Services (FMS). FMS delivers high-quality event medical services at some of the UK’s prestigious events while raising money for charity projects. They work in partnership with Ambulance Services and District General Hospitals to ensure local NHS services are not overwhelmed during events.
Professor Ian Fussell, Associate Dean of Education for the College of Medicine and Health and Senior Team Member of Festival Medical Services (FMS) who led the student group said: “We’re delighted to help ensure the public’s safety and enjoyment at Glastonbury. The University of Exeter’s partnership with FMS provides a fantastic opportunity for our medical students.
‘’Our students have provided high-quality care at some of the biggest music events in recent years. Responding to a variety of incidents in fast-paced, ever-changing festival scenarios has prepared them well for working on the NHS frontlines. They are wonderful medical school ambassadors, and I'm really proud of them.’’
Students are invited to apply for a place on the FMS Responder team each year and are expected to contribute to the funding of their training for this role.
For more information on how to apply, contact Professor Ian Fussell.
Date: 27 June 2022