These notes will help you find your way through I’m a Medic.
Any questions, or issues not covered, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
This June, I’m a Medic, Get me out of here connects healthcare workers with school students in Nottinghamshire. Students will Ask questions, Chat with you in a live, real-time Chat, and Vote for their favourites to win £500!
Ultimately, it’s about helping all students, whoever they are, feel that a career in healthcare can be something ‘for them’.
You use this site to connect with young people (aged 9–18) at schools across the Nottinghamshire and the East Midlands. You answer their questions about your day to day work, your career, your hobbies and interests, and just about anything the students can think of. Take part as a team to showcase the wide variety of job roles it takes to make the NHS work.
In addition to your Dashboard and profile there are three parts to the site:
- Students Ask you and your team questions which you answer in your own time.
- You Chat with school students online, answering their questions and hearing their opinions.
- Students Vote for a healthcare team to win £500 to fund their own schools engagement activity
How to use the site
Log in and get started
If this is your first time taking part, choose a password to set up your account.
We will send you your username by email. ’
Your profile information
You have a profile including a photo of you, information about you and your work, and a set of “interview” questions. Find your profile from anywhere by clicking on your name at the top of any page in the zone, or on your Dashboard.
Your profile enables the students to find out more about you and your work. It’s really helpful if you fill in your profile as soon as possible. When filling out your profile remember to save regularly, click the “Update Profile” button at the bottom after filling in each section.
Edit your profile
Log in then click on the “Profile” tab.
Click the “Edit your profile” button at the top of the page. There are four sections to your profile.
For the first sections you’ll be asked for a one sentence summary, and then a longer version. The short versions are all displayed on one page with a “read more” option underneath. This is because testing showed this makes it much easier for low literacy students, while it’s easy for students who want to read more to access it.
Don’t feel you need to write a lot, even for the longer versions; people reading online tend to prefer shorter texts- a short paragraph will be fine to give people ideas of what to ask you.
Note on social media accounts: Please do not add details of your social media accounts (Twitter handles, Instagram etc) to your profile page. This helps to keep the school students’ interactions with you during the activity in a fully moderated space, this website.
Your main profile picture
Please upload a friendly colour photo (not a black and white one) to use as your profile picture for the site.
Update your profile
When you have finished, click the “Update Profile” button at the bottom. You can come back and edit your profile at any time by clicking on your name at the top of any page in the zone.
Adding images and other media
You can put photos or other images (for example, graphs or images that illustrate your research or where you work) into the long answers “About me”, “my work”, and “My typical day”.
You can also embed video. However, do be aware that some school systems will block YouTube and many other video sites.
This isn’t necessarily a reason not to use video, as it can be very effective, but don’t make understanding your profile dependent on viewing the video as it will leave out some students.
You will have a profile page to talk about your team as a whole. This is completed by the Team Leader and is for students to read a summary of your team, and what links you all together.
Ways of interacting:
Answering Ask questions
You will be notified by email of all new questions for you in the Ask section. You can answer them in your own time.
- Log in
- On your Dashboard you will see a “My Unanswered Questions” box.
- Choose a question and type your answer.
You will also be able to view other healthcare workers’ answers to the question.
It is up to you what questions to answer and how much detail to go into.
Answering questions on Coronavirus
We expect few questions about coronavirus/COVID-19, like ‘How does covid infect people?’ and personal ones like ‘How are you coping?’.
This advice will help you if you have concerns about how to answer: Guidance for questions on Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Chats are consistently the most popular part of the activity for students, teachers and healthcare workers. They take place in our online chatrooms. Students type questions to you and express their opinions over a 40 minute session.
Live chats are fun and give immediate contact between healthcare workers and students, allowing students to relate to you. Many teachers tell us that the quieter students are more active in live chats than face to face, providing an interesting change to class dynamics.
Remember, some students might be logging in from home, so be patient.
View the latest available Chat sessions on your Dashboard. You can have up to 6 upcoming sessions ‘Accepted’ here at once.
- Chat sessions last 40 minutes and are available each week of the zone.
- The first 5 minutes is for students to log in, last 10 can be used by teachers to talk directly to their students.
- Sign up for as many chats as you want to do over the month. Whatever works for your schedule.
- Teachers may make special requests for specific kinds of healthcare workers, for example people who have done apprenticeships. If you fit what they’re looking for, please try and make these chats a priority.
- When enough healthcare workers have Accepted a chat, the booking will not be visible for anyone else to Accept, however you can still come to the chat if you’re free then.
- If a chat is cancelled, it will disappear from your Accepted list
- Check for new chats regularly. New ones are added each day. You will only see chats booked in the next couple of weeks.
Tips for the chats
Sometimes 2 chats run at once. Choose the chat you accepted or, if you’re dropping in, choose the one with fewer healthcare workers present.
Chats can be hectic, but also exhilarating. Enjoy the hurly-burly and don’t worry too much about your spelling!
To help you prioritise questions, the numbers next to each student’s username are how many times a healthcare worker has answered them. If you see a ‘0’ or ‘1’ there, this student may appreciate your next answer most.
Use the ‘Message@[your name]’ option at the top right of the chat window to see only the messages directed at you in real-time. This helps to focus on relevant questions during busy chats.
Remember that anyone with a mortarboard next to their name is a teacher.
Click on a student’s message to address your answer to them. Otherwise they may not realise you’ve answered their question, and keep asking it. If you get behind on a chat, it’s better to skip a few questions and get back to the bottom of the screen, otherwise you keep answering questions after the students have gone!
Be patient. Some young people’s turn of phrase and use of language will be different from ‘academic discourse’. It may take you a little while to understand what they are trying to ask. This is especially true when Special Educational Needs (SEN) Schools are involved.
Be tolerant. Sometimes young people can be over-exuberant online. Chat with them and they will calm down and engage with you.
Don’t take offence. Sometimes you will receive questions which seem quite blunt, but usually students don’t mean to be offensive. The benefit of an online activity is that they feel empowered to ask.
Moderation of questions: Our policy
All questions in Ask are moderated before they are sent to you. The moderators work very hard to strike a balance between making your lives easier as participants, and giving students the chance to ask real questions.
Remember most students are 13 or 14 years old, although there are some Sixth Form classes taking part too, or you may be in a Primary-only zone. Some classes are from Special Educational Needs Schools or young offender institutions.
We know you will get sent some very similar questions (believe us, the moderators wade through and weed out a lot more of them!). Moderators will take out duplicate questions in Ask, but allow through questions which may be similar, but make additional or slightly different points.
Moderators will remove rude or offensive questions (there are generally very few) and anything which breaks the house rules. They will allow challenging questions. They will allow irreverent, but friendly, questions. There will always be a moderator or teacher logged in to the chatroom to help things along.
However, they are not miracle-workers, and from time to time there will be the odd chat that we cannot get on track. Bear with us, we’re doing our best!
We know you’re not doing this activity for the glory. However, we still want the time you’re giving to connect with students to be appreciated.
Prize money for your project
The students are voting for the healthcare team they think should win £500 for their own engagement ideas.
This could be school visits, fair exhibits, videos or podcasts, blogs, arranging class visits to your office….
During the activity the team with the most Votes are announced every Friday. The overall winner is revealed on the final Friday afternoon.
You can take the Vote part of the activity as seriously as you like. There’s no pressure on you to push for votes and no negative consequences for not winning. We never publish the number of votes.
For students and teachers, though, considering who to vote for is an important part of the activity. It gives students a reason to think critically about the work you do. Please keep this in mind if you’re asked ‘Why should we vote for you?’.
Three key things you need to know
1. Spend as long as you like taking part
Depending on your schedule, you might sign up for one 40 minute chat during the month, or one chat each day! It’s completely up to you.
The Ask questions can be answered whenever you like, so don’t feel the need to completely clear your list every single night/lunch break. We’ve heard they are particularly useful for passing the time on rainy weekends…
2. It’s not a seminar for super-smart doctors of the future
There will be a wide variation in the students taking part and a big variation in ability. Some will be “gifted and talented” students, some will be lower ability classes, or have special educational needs. The point of the activity is to provide a space that engages all students, not just the ones who might go on to study medicine.
For some, “Do you like your job?” may be the most pressing question they can think of. Part of the point is that this activity humanises careers in healthcare for young people; they realise that you are “like normal people” who they can relate to.
3. Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know”.
You will be asked some questions which are not in your area. Answer what you feel you can, but don’t feel you have to Google all evening to answer these questions!
Part of the point of the activity is that students get more realistic ideas about careers in healthcare. They can learn that, for example, there’s no reason why a General Practice Nurse should know how to carry out major surgery. This makes healthcare careers seem a lot less intimidating!
Advice on engagement
Our best advice is to be yourself in your answers. You don’t need to pretend to like Beyoncé/Justin Bieber/Taylor Swift for young people to relate to you, being genuine is what’s important.
When we asked people what they would do differently if they did it again, one answer that summed up many was, “I would be less formal and more personal from the start”.
De-technify your language
Even if you think you are using easy-to-understand language, you likely work in an environment where there is a lot of jargon. Technical words are often used when more accessible ones are available. It’s easy not to realise when your language may be going over the heads of most 13 year olds (and adults).
Don’t “identify”, “find”. Don’t “utilise”, “use”. Don’t “investigate”, “look at”.
Here’s a great video from our funders, Wellcome, which might also help:
When you talk about science, are you sure the words you are using don’t mean something different to others? Here are five examples of scientific lingo to use with caution ❗️ pic.twitter.com/kV24VmqtGA
— Wellcome Trust (@wellcometrust) August 28, 2018
Talk to us!
Please communicate with other healthcare workers and the moderation team, as well as the students. We’ve occasionally had people finish the activity and say in feedback they were having technical problems, or were worried about particular questions, or similar. We’d much rather hear at the time so we can do something about it.
We use Twitter as a way to interact with people taking part in I’m a Medic, among other things. It’s a great way to communicate how your zone is going, learn more about you, the people taking part, and ultimately keep in touch with everyone after the activity.
If you need any help, please email email@example.com
Visit the Staffroom at imamedic.uk/staffroom during the activity to say Hi, or if you’ve got a question for the moderators.
The small print page
By accepting your invitation to I’m a Medic you are agreeing to these listed terms and conditions
We think you’ll agree with it but it’s best to be sure, so please have a read.