CILIPS Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland
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Case study – NHSFV Library and Knowledge Services contribution to Undergraduate (UG) Medical Education

Case study provided by Anne Barrett, Library Assistant, NHS Forth Valley Royal Hospital

Project outline: 

NHS Forth Valley Library Services (NHSFVLS) acknowledges the importance of a sound educational UG experience. Library staff members are instrumental in supporting the UG coordinator whilst students are on placement. We are strongly committed to providing access to the plethora of resources on the KN whilst students are assigned to Forth Valley.

Our work supports the Knowledge to Action strategy by enabling tomorrow’s Doctors to: be well informed; become adept at using digital information; use evidence based treatments; and develop the means by which they can deliver safe, person-centred, effective treatment that supports the Scottish Government’s Vision for a Healthier Scotland.

NHSFVLS accepts up to 400 medical students per year from the Universities of Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and St Andrews; the number also includes up to 25 overseas elective students. Student lockers and computers are situated in a room within the Library; this set up enables daily contact between students and Library staff, whereby every effort is made to encourage use of the resources available.

On arriving at NHSFV, the students’ first point of contact is with the library staff. After a formal induction with the UG Coordinator, they are then offered an introduction to TKN. We ensure that all students have an Athens account; if not, we encourage students to register for an account. The provision of the BNF app often proves to be an effective incentive; from that, the interest in other apps and resources increases.

NHSFVLS have a dedicated ipad available to students; we use this to encourage use of the wide range of apps which are available with an Athens password.

The librarians’ work with the undergraduates enables the majority of students to: gain confidence; use resources in an effective way; expand their knowledge base; provide excellence in health and care for the people of Scotland.

Student feedback indicates that the majority find the informal short information sessions, and the regular proximity to a librarian, to be very useful. We are now working with the UG co-ordinator to try and develop a system whereby Library Services can expand the sessions and provide them as a formal element of student induction.

At NHSFV, we also have a large number of nursing students from Stirling and Napier universities. Our longer term aim is to become more involved with those students and, to that end, we are exploring opportunities with nursing colleagues.

We strive to provide a strong, stable platform from which our students can take flight.

Quote from service user: 

“Without the assistance of the librarians my search on the Knowledge Network would have been an onerous task”

Quote from staff member:

“This projects was important because it highlighted the relationship between undergraduate medical education and library services.”