Category Archives: Articles

What is a Defibrillator?

Have you ever passed a box marked ‘AED’ or ‘life-saving device’ and wondered: “What is a defibrillator?” They’re appearing in public places all over the UK, with the intention of making it easier to prevent deaths from cardiac arrests. As defibrillators become more commonplace, it’s useful to know how they work and how to go about using one.

There are various types of defibrillator. The AED, or automated external defibrillator, is the version you’re most likely to encounter, as it’s these that are appearing on streets and in busy venues such as sports centres and railway stations.

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What is Epilepsy? – Causes, Diagnosis & Treatment

What is Epilepsy?

Epilepsy is a neurological condition that affects over 600,000 people in the UK, almost 1 in every 100 people. It causes sufferers to have recurring seizures. Some people with epilepsy may stop having seizures over a period of time, however most epileptics will have the condition for life. Epilepsy can start at any age but most often begins during childhood.

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The Story of the Stethoscope

It’s two hundred years since French physician René Laennec, in a flash of inspiration, invented and named the stethoscope. He started with a roll of paper and quickly progressed to a hollow wooden tube about 30cms long. Laennec specialised in treating the scourge of nineteenth century cities – tuberculosis – and found his new idea to be invaluable.

While not all were convinced that his invention was of much value, medical professionals from across Europe climbed onto their horse or into a carriage and travelled to Paris to learn about his ideas. Over the next thirty years, Laennec’s innovation, the monoaural (having a single earpiece) tubular stethoscope became a feature of many a doctor’s bag.

Laennec stethoscope

The stethoscope continues to evolve

While it was a huge step forward in diagnostic technique, the Laennec stethoscope wasn’t very convenient to use. It required the doctor to lean over their patient, which wasn’t always easy, particularly for physicians with their own mobility issues.

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How to Use a Stethoscope

cardiology_III_symbols_redYour stethoscope is your constant companion in medicine, so it’s really important to know how to use it.

While the technology required to listen in on our internal noises is very simple, learning how to perform effective auscultation takes a while. The sooner you learn to use a stethoscope effectively, the sooner you’ll be on your way to understanding the sounds made by the human body.

Different types of stethoscope

While they all perform the same function, a variety of different stethoscopes have been developed for various specialties. Some are designed specifically for cardiology or paediatricians. General purpose stethoscopes are ideal for students and nurses, while electronic stethoscopes can enhance traditional auscultation through the use of digital technology. Continue reading How to Use a Stethoscope

Graduation Gift Ideas for Medical Students

What do you buy for someone who’s finishing their medical degree this year?

Graduating from medical school is a massive milestone on what can be a ten-year journey from excited fresher to highly respected and experienced medical professional. So what sort of gift will reflect the exhilaration and anticipation of the moment, while being appropriate for the person you’re buying for?

Does that sound like a tough call? To help you decide, we’ve put together a list of graduation gift ideas for the medical student in your life. They’re a mix of practical, fun and the unexpected.

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UK Nurses Need Holistic Solutions for Workplace Stress


Nurses are facing some of their toughest times to date. In recent months the UK nursing industry has been involved in NHS strikes over pay, reports of understaffed wards, and a looming bed crisis.

On a personal level, nurses are working long hours on shift rotation, yet their hard work in the public sector is unrewarded financially and a lack of social support fuels the risk of burnout. These contributing factors lead to increased strain on nurses whose role it is to care for others. Before they can do this, it’s important that nurses take time to care for themselves. Here are our best tips for nurses on coping with and reducing stress. Continue reading UK Nurses Need Holistic Solutions for Workplace Stress

Practice Managers: How to Optimize Office Expenses

For medical and physician practice managers, efficient use of your budget is a primary part of your job. Oftentimes you may find that you have to get creative to cut expenses, stretch resources, and maintain the effectiveness of the practice to satisfy patients.

An efficient purchasing process is a good first step to controlling your expenses. In virtually all practices the front office staff use the majority of office supplies. This includes printer paper, envelopes, ink, and more. These items, while seemingly small individually, can quickly add up if they’re not properly accounted for. That’s why you must set up systems to address their costs and optimize their usage. Here are a few tips on how to manage these kinds of office expenses and keep them under control. Continue reading Practice Managers: How to Optimize Office Expenses

Famous Nurses Who Made It Big Outside Their Medical Careers

Before becoming famous, celebrities often start off working in regular careers and fields. Although not the most common career track, some celebrities started out as nurses before finding their fame in music, radio, TV and print. Here are a few famous people who you probably didn’t know spent time in nursing before making it big.

#1 Bonnie Hunt

Bonnie Hunt has done quite a bit in her time in Hollywood – from film and TV acting, to writing and directing. In addition to her Hollywood fame though, you can add Oncology Nursing to her resume. Prior to debuting in our list of famous nurses, Bonnie was working with cancer patients at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. Later went on to become famous as the lead in the Bonnie Hunt Show and as the voice of Sally in Pixar’s Cars franchise. Continue reading Famous Nurses Who Made It Big Outside Their Medical Careers

5 Creative Ways to Quickly Learn Medical Terminology (And Remember It)

learning medical terminology
Learning medical terminology can be a pain, but some techniques can make it much easierMark Hunter / Flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0

Much of medical terminology has unfamiliar sounding Greek and Latin roots, often making them challenging for people to remember.

As a healthcare professional, it’s not uncommon to come across medical terminology which is simply foreign to you. However, to be successful, healthcare students need to be able to read and understand all sorts of medical terms, even if they’re caught off guard in clinical settings and in internships without time to look up the term.

It’s important to prepare ahead of time, and keep the terms you’re learning in your science courses today fresh in your mind tomorrow and for years ahead.

There’s no way around it, if you want to be viewed as competent and intelligent, you must have a strong understanding of medical terminology.

But how do you learn medical terminology easily?

By using different tools and methods of learning and committing to memory the basics of medical terminology, you’ll be able to understand and use the proper terminology in whatever situation you find yourself in. Follow these tips for learning medical terms quickly and easily.

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