Frontline Physician Associate’s experiences in Emergency Department (ED) in North West London


With the recent COVID situation, everyone was working outside of their comfort zone. Despite my 8 years of experience as a PA in the ED, I haven't come across a situation similar to this pandemic. There was a lot of change within the department almost on a daily basis, learning novel measures, supportive flexible approach helped me cope through this period. I am grateful for the pastoral support from my team members in the ED, who made a huge difference in my ability to cope with a roller coaster of emotions and other stressors. I believe that with all the general encouragement to NHS and specific support from my friends, colleagues and family, I could provide the best possible care to my patients despite my personal fears. (Sarah Kamal)

On the frontline in Accident and Emergency (A&E) has been tough yet rewarding in equal measures. We have had so much support from the general public and also our whole trust. Amongst the support have been so many generous food donations that we have started a tea at 3 drop in club in order to keep staff moral high. Here our doctors, nurses, HCAs, porters, security radiographers, PA’s and a multitude of allied healthcare professionals attend for a well-deserved cuppa.  (Megan Twamley)

Working in A&E has always been challenging and the pressure increased considerably during the COVID-19 pandemic. There was a drastic transformation in the structure of the department in order to cope with the new demand. It was encouraging to see how the whole team adapted so well to the new pressures and supported each other. I worked and provided care to a wide range of patients including those who were clinically unwell. This is due to the generalist and flexible nature of the Physician Associate training. This experience has helped to develop certain personal skills such as resilience and patience. Clinically, I am more confident in managing unwell patients. My colleagues and I managed to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic on the frontline due to excellent teamwork and kindness towards each other. (Grishma Ananpara)

Working as a PA and being a mum in this pandemic period has been a stressful and challenging time. As a clinician I wanted to do my best and make an extra effort to provide the best care to my patients. But as a mother, I was also worried about carrying Corona virus back home even with adequate personal protection equipment at work. I guess all parents can relate to this and we all have our own struggles. (Agne Mickeviciute)

Physician Associate team in Emergency department at a busy Northwest London Hospital (Photo taken prior to Covid-19 pandemic) 

As a recently qualified physician associate, I started my first job in ED when the Covid-19 situation was escalating. The current situation is not one I ever could have predicted starting my career in. I was initially worried that the increased pressure on the department would result in me being left alone but from the first day it became clear that I had joined a particularly supportive and nurturing team. I’m so grateful to the entire team in the department who have been so welcoming and displayed such camaraderie during such an unusual time. I feel privileged to have graduated in time to join the remarkable NHS family during this unusual period. (Rachel Goldberg)