Frequently Asked Questions

If you can't find the answer to your question in the FAQ below, please e-mail us at:

1Do you need to sign up for monthly teaching sessions?
In general, you do not have to sign up for our monthly teaching sessions. Just come and join us for the session you are interested in. Occasionally we may run a session that is particularly practical and requires smaller groups for practical stations. For these sessions there may be a sign up list, however, this will be well advertised on social media as well as our website.
2 How much does it cost to attend teaching sessions?
All of our teaching sessions are free of charge to anyone healthcare student who wishes to attend. We believe that everyone should have access to high quality practical teaching on Emergency Medicine.
3How do teaching sessions run?
Our sessions last for two hours and begin with a 40 minute talk from a guest speaker who has professional experience in the chosen subject area. After this we break off into smaller groups and rotate around three or four practical and hands-on teaching sessions. These are normally lead by the guest speaker as well as older medical students with an interest in Emergency Medicine. Practical stations range from simulations, equipment familiarisation, clinical skills and group work. We aim to make all stations informative, engaging and interactive.
4What is peer led teaching?
Peer led teaching is where students teach each other (or are involved in running a practical station). Often this involves more senior years teaching the younger years on topics that they have read up on and are confident to teach. Sometimes peer led teachers will be supported by healthcare professionals.
5Can I go to A&E if I’m not a PEMS core member?
We are committed to helping all medical students with an interest in A&E attend extra shifts in emergency departments (EDs). Our network map of Wales provides useful contacts in order to arrange to go into any ED in Wales, regardless of whether you’re a core member. We suggest that only core members attend shifts with their allocated consultants at UHW ED as this is based on an agreement with the doctors at the hospital and there is limited space for students during out of hours shifts.
6How do I apply to be a core member?
Every year we open up spaces for core members to start in September. We will advertise any openings generally around late July/August. We usually ask for applications to be more no more than 150 words explaining why you would like to get involved in PEMS, any prior experience or anything that highlights your interest in EM. We usually ask this to be sent to before a deadline which will be advertised on social media as well as the website.
7Why does PEMS Swansea not have core members?
Swansea Medical School already has a system in place to help any student with an interest organise their own shifts in ED in places such as Swansea and Carmarthen. As well as this medical students at Swansea are able to also go out with paramedics to experience pre-hospital care. Therefore a ‘core’ member system is not required in the same way as it is in Cardiff. PEMS Swanseea does still required committed members from every year group to get involved in teaching to enable their monthly teaching sessions. Email to get involved.
8I’m not a medical student: can I still attend your teaching session?
Absolutely! Our sessions are primarily aimed at medical students from years 1-5, but we regularly have nursing students and other healthcare professionals attend our sessions. Please let us know if you do attend and what background you’re from so that we can do our best to cater for you on the night.
9How can I get involved with teaching as a Doctor? Does it matter what grade I am?
We appreciate interest from Doctors (and other healthcare professionals!) of any grade. Our sessions are targeted at mainly medical students from years 1-5, looking at a range of acute medicine topics from a predominantly EM/PHEM angle. If you’d like to get involved as a guest speaker or help run our practical stations we would be hugely grateful. Please drop us an email at if you’re interested.
10I’m a nursing student; can I become a core member?
Currently (February 2016) we do not have any core member spaces for nursing students. HOWEVER, due to the huge amount of interest we’ve had from nursing students in Cardiff and Swansea, we are looking to set up a system by which nursing students could also become core members and attend out of hours shifts gaining more experience from nursing staff in UHW ED.
11How do A&E shifts work in Cardiff?
Core members are allocated at least two EM Consultants at UHW ED. Core members then have access to the consultant rota each month and are entitled to attend the department during ‘out of hours shifts’. This counts as anytime after 4pm on a weekday or weekends, when their consultant is in the department. Once checking that their consultant is happy for them to be there, that there aren’t other students also stretching the department and that the ED isn’t exceptionally busy, students are allowed to shadow for as long or as little as they’d like to gain extra experience and exposure to minors, majors, paeds and resus.
12Do I need to sign in when going in for an A&E shift?
Core members are required to notify PEMS that they are going in to shadow their consultant via a Facebook page. Other than this, there is no need to sign in to the department on arrival. You are required to wear placement clothes and identification in the form of a lanyard and also to make your consultant aware that you are in the department.
13What do I wear to do an A&E shift?
Normal placement clothes and comfortable shoes. It is advisable to look smart and act as you would for any University placement.
14Do you provide first aid training for non-medical students?
We do not provide formalised first aid training or certification. We provide informal teaching and advice on a peer led basis or from our attending guest speaker.
15Are you involved with any charities?
We are not directly linked with any charity however, we are always happy to help a worthwhile cause if we can.
16 How can I get hold of hand-outs or PowerPoint presentations used during your talks?
The majority of resources from all teaching sessions are placed on the ‘Teaching resources’ page on our website. From here you can download powerpoint presentatons, worksheets or handouts that you’ve found useful. If you would like to upload any to our resource bank or ask about one resource in particular, please email