TEENS from Swindon schools watched as paramedics and doctors cared for a crash victim from roadside to operating theatre.

Almost 40 pupils from four schools in Swindon and Marlborough attended the simulation day at Oxford Brookes University’s Swindon campus. They saw an actor, “Debbie”, being attended to by student paramedics after a car crash left part of her thigh bone exposed to the air.

The day was organised by staff at Great Western Hospital and Oxford Brookes, who hoped it would encourage the youngsters to set their sights on alternative careers in the health service.

Dr Katherine Warren, clinical teaching fellow at GWH, said: “We’re hoping to give them a bit of inspiration, really, a little bit of a flavour of the careers in the NHS.”

She added of the scenario: “Our actor Debbie was hit by a driver, she had a broken leg and at the start we weren’t sure what other injuries she had.

“She was picked up by the paramedics and assessed. She was then driven to the hospital and assessed in the emergency department. They made the decision she needed to go to theatre, so the students saw a fake operation and the surgeon, anaesthetists and the operating department practitioners in practice.”

Callum Greenwood, a teacher at Swindon Academy, praised the day: “We’re here so our health and social care students get experience of what it’s like working within the NHS. It gives them first -hand experience of what it’s like to be a NHS professional.”

Megan Belcher, 14, a Year 9 at Swindon Academy, said: “I want to be a paramedic. My grandad died, he had to be taken to hospital. My nan dislocated her hip. I want to help other people who have the same problems.”

Amanda Green, careers lead at St Joseph’s Catholic College, said: “All of the students we brought along have expressed an interest in the medical profession. We think these events are absolutely vital for students, particularly at this age, it gives them something to work towards.”

Hamilton Gonsalves, 14, a St Joe’s pupil, said he hoped the day would give him an insight into the workings of an operating theatre. The boy wants to train as a surgeon. Classmate Aimee Cullingford, 14, hopes to work as an army medic when she’s older: “I liked learning about the different wounds and how to control them.”

Hannah Turner, a paramedic officer with South Western Ambulance Service, oversaw the work of her student paramedics at the simulated crash site: “For our students it’s a good controlled atmosphere to practice their skills.”