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Lisa McDermott - Advanced Specialist Training in Emergency Medicine (ASTEM)

Lisa McDermott, NHS Lanarkshire, undertook the Advanced Specialist Training in Emergency Medicine (ASTEM) – University of Manchester.

Lisa MCD

Lisa McDermott works as an Advanced Pharmacist Practitioner (APP) in the Emergency Department at University Monklands Hospital, Lanarkshire. To support her working in this role she undertook the Advanced Specialist Training in Emergency Medicine (ASTEM) course delivered at the University of Manchester. This course is a postgraduate masters level programme comprising of two modules including Advanced Clinical Skills (ACS) and Independent Prescribing (IP) As Lisa had already completed the IP qualification prior to the ACS course, she undertook a mental health module to gain the full ASTEM qualification in place of the IP.

The ACS course consists of two sub-modules, the Advanced Clinical Skills module and an Emergency Medicine module. These modules aim to introduce pharmacist IPs to the knowledge and skills required to assess and manage patients who are requiring urgent care and who are at risk of becoming acutely unwell, in addition to supporting the development of innovative practice as an Emergency Medicine Pharmacist Practitioner.

Lisa writes “The course has been critical in my development and ability to fulfil this advanced role. My daily duties include taking a full history from the patient/carer, patient examination and assessment, medicines reconciliation, venepuncture or cannulation, ordering and reviewing blood tests, taking observations, urinalysis, checking ECGs and prescribing of fluids, oxygen and medication. The investigations undertaken are used to formulate differential diagnoses and create a plan for my patient.

The unique nature of this role allows me to aid in the assessment of patients, but also to use my non-clinical time to develop pharmacy-led pathways for patient care. For example, this is helping us to streamline pathways for admission avoidance for toxicology patients and improve our efficiency in using new procedural sedation techniques, in addition to other patient safety and quality improvement projects.

Dr McNeish, EM consultant University Hospital Monklands

‘We have supported Lisa with educational and clinical supervision, and through her previous clinical experience and the ASTEM course she has developed into an APP who works alongside our doctors and other advanced practice roles within the department to assess, investigate and treat undifferentiated patients attending the Emergency Department.  She is extremely enthusiastic to learn and often uses her core pharmacy training knowledge and outlook to suggest sensible management solutions, especially for our elderly patients attending with a variety of medical issues and polypharmacy.’

We value the role that Lisa is developing within our department and are keen to continue to support it.  I have no doubt that the APP role will only increase in number throughout Emergency Departments across Scotland.

Lisa’s place on the Advanced Specialist Training in Emergency Medicine course was funded by NHS Lanarkshire and NES.