I completed this virtual experience in Year 13 because my career plans had changed. I decided at the end of Year 12 that I wanted to go into nursing but my experiences so far were not related to a career in the healthcare sector. Even though Observe GP was designed for future medics I wanted to see how the role of a Nurse would fit into a multidisciplinary care team. I completed the reflective diary which was relay important as it helped me to think about decisions made by health care professionals and how they need to take a patient centred approach to their work. I talked about Observe GP when I had my university interviews and how it had helped me. I received offers from all five of my universities and I look forward to starting my Nursing Degree in September.
Layla, Year 13
The Allied Health Professional’s provided virtual work experience based on different NHS roles talking through their jobs and responsibilities for different scenarios. It really helped me to gain insight into the NHS and explore different job opportunities that have interested me. Not only did the seminar show how each job works it also discussed universities that provide the courses you might be interested in and talked through UCAS points and tariffs, which I found very useful during Year 12. I would recommend participating in any work experience the Allied Health Professionals are offering because it is useful to anyone interested in any career in the NHS and a fun way of gaining insight into the different jobs the NHS offers to you.
Rachel, Year 12
Working in a local pharmacy gave me a good closer look at how the healthcare sector works. I was able to see how the patient records go from the GP to the pharmacy. Seeing how much work the pharmacy does other than sell meds to patients gave me a greater understanding of what working in a pharmacy entails. I hadn’t realised how many people turn to the pharmacist for help.
Krishna, Year 12
This year I completed the BSMS virtual work experience online. This gave me closer insight to how a GP might spend their day and the tasks they’re required to undertake on a daily basis. I got to see how the patient and doctor interact and how reassuring the doctors words are to a patient. It made me appreciate the need for a patient-centred approach and showed me how different staff work together as part of a multi disciplinary care team.
Krishna, Year 12
Last October, I was fortunate enough to secure work experience at Knowsley Safari Park where I had the privilege of working alongside keepers to provide enrichment for tigers, wolves and meerkats. The enrichment was designed to stimulate different senses, particularly smell, to prevent the animals displaying stereotypical behaviours. For the wolves, I stuffed sacks with hay and rubbed different fruits and vegetables on the outside. I monitored how they responded to each sack to see how the enrichment could be modified if it was repeated. This highlighted the importance of regular, varied enrichment for the health of animals in captivity; something I hadn't previously considered, and it gave me a better insight into how zoos and safari parks encourage animals to exhibit natural behaviours.
I took the opportunity to talk to the park vet who allowed me to view footage of cataract surgery on a sea lion. Watching footage and asking questions gave me a better understanding of the importance of problem solving and teamwork in veterinary medicine. The vet worked with nurses, keepers and an ophthalmic specialist and planned for over a week before carrying out the surgery. Through planning, they were able to find solutions to various problems such as how to give the animal anaesthetic without risking the vet's or animal's safety, which the keepers solved by training the sea lion to enter a crate on command. This was an opportunity I am incredibly grateful for and it cemented my desire to become a vet.
In order to gain as many real-world experiences as possible I've participated in Medic Mentors virtual work experience, observing how vets work in various fields through sessions about lambing, ethics, and mixed practice. I particularly enjoyed the surgery session, observing spays and castrations performed on cats and dogs. After surgery, I was taught how to do 2 surgical knots using string, and learnt more about the different suture materials and why vets use them. This highlighted the dexterity a surgeon needs to carry out a successful surgery and taught me about the different variables a vet needs to consider at each stage of surgery to ensure the best outcome for the animal. It also emphasised the importance of organisation, communication and teamwork. Prior to surgery, the vet carried out a thorough health check on the animal, to check for conditions that could put them at risk while under anaesthesia and to establish a baseline heart rate. The vet and their team also had to check all the equipment was functioning, prepare medicine and prepare a kennel for the animal, so they had to carefully plan their day to ensure they had enough time to do everything. During surgery, the nurses monitoring the animal communicated any issues with the vet to decide on a solution, such as providing more anaesthetic, fluids etc. This taught me more about the role of veterinary nurses during surgery and how important they are in keeping animals safe while under anaesthetic.
This experience led me to apply to be a member of Medic Mentor's Virtual Veterinary Society, which meets once a week to discuss various areas and developments in veterinary medicine. This has been invaluable for me as I have been able to talk to current and aspiring vet students and it exposed me to issues within the profession such as overtreatment.
Molly, Year 13