Tried and tested

A coach load of aspiring doctors, dentists, nurses, midwives and pharmacists set forth from Loreto College across the Pennines to visit the Thackray Museum in Leeds. Students from Advanced and BTEC courses were treated to an interesting talk on the legacy and history of medicine and then allowed to meander through the interactive galleries to soak up the atmospheric information on offer.

Walking through the streets of Leeds as they were in 1842, with not only the sights but also the smells, was not an experience for the faint-hearted. Learning about public health in the Victorian era is certainly an important part of preparation for a career in the health service today. Watching a video of an amputation without anaesthetic allowed students to see just how far medicine has come in recent years and also how doctors were trained for their work in times past. There was a chance to inspect over 47,000 items of historical medical equipment and a typical pharmacy shop, as shown in the picture.

Students showed great interest in the evolution of childbirth and some of the surgical and dental procedures used in the early days. Some enjoyed the interactive displays in the LifeZone about how our bodies work even ‘though these were really for younger children’! One student said ‘I never realised how much fun scientists had when they discovered anaesthetics’. Another spoke of how important it is to know how diseases are transmitted when health care professionals are trying to combat these.