As someone who has wanted to study medicine for a long time, my work experience on the geriatric ward at a large hospital was extremely insightful and enjoyable. It reinforced my desire to study medicine and was very useful for experiences to talk about during my medical school interviews. The staff were very welcoming and taught me a lot.
As a work experience student in a hospital, there is only so much you can do as due to the nature of the work your role is very much to be there as an observer only. This is very understandable but I appreciated the staff for giving their time up to explain things to me in great detail.
Staff were extremely accommodating and super welcoming. My placement lasted for a week and not a day went by when I didn't feel like I could not ask any questions I had or for any advice/tips. Overall the insight was extremely useful and I would recommend similar work experience to anyone else wanting to study medicine.
I saw how the staff interacted and cared for patients - something I hope to do in the future so observing them at work was not only interesting but a great learning experience. I don't think I gained any physical skills due to the nature of the work placement being observational but the information I learnt will be extremely useful in the future.
The insight was arranged by the work experience team at the hospital and there were a couple of hiccups at the beginning as I'm not sure there was sufficient communication between the ward and work experience team beforehand. However, the ward took me on and taught me a lot despite this and the insight week itself flowed without trouble.
Being in a hospital you have to be respectful and dignified however staff always did their best to be upbeat and I always felt the camaraderie between staff. It made me confident that in the future I would like them as future colleagues. There was a great balance between being caring and having a positive atmosphere
The work experience placement was purely observational and I am very grateful for both the work experience team and ward at the hospital for enabling me to gain an insight into what it would be like to study medicine and become a doctor. I do understand however that work experience students can often take up time/get in the way of the work of ward staff.
Watching the doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, healthcare assistants and various managers everyday for a week expanded my knowledge of working in a hospital by infinite amounts and I don't believe any other experience could be as valuable. Although I didn't physically do things, watching the various staff do their daily jobs on the ward made me understand what it is like to work in a hospital day in day out.
I had a lot of questions about what it is like to work for the NHS in the 21st century and so through asking various members of staff I was able to get a good idea of what the NHS is like as an employer. I understand that opinions will very across trusts and across the country since the NHS is one of the biggest employers in the UK.
Following my work experience I was able not only to reinforce and confirm my desire to study medicine, but I was also able to relay my experiences at interview. Without the experience I do not think I would have been able to succeed at my medical school interview and ultimately would not have had enough to talk about.
The work experience placement was arranged by the hospital's work experience team and was not intended to be a paid experience. I was able to travel by bus everyday and bought my own packed lunch therefore my expenses were not unmanageable. I understand that this may not always be the case.
Due to the nature of the work experience being on a ward in a hospital, I was only able to gain experience on the geriatric ward specifically. However the staff on this ward were very welcoming with any tips and advice I needed for the future. They were able to signpost me to places I could get answers if I was interested in different areas of the hospital.
I was a work experience student so was mindful that I was shadowing staff/professionals with very busy lives. I felt able to network and ask how the doctors on other wards worked/whether they would be willing for me to shadow the. However I don't believer social events were necessary or possible and they were not really a factor for me when deciding to undergo this placement.
I was able to shadow many staff who had lives outside of medicine/outside of their working life in hospital. It made me confident that in the future there is a possible balance between interests outside of medicine and work. I also hope to have a family in the future and shadowing busy professionals made me believe it is possible.
I would definitely recommend an insight such as this to anybody interested in pursing a career in medicine or the allied health sciences such as nursing/physiotherapy. Watching the daily life on a ward is something you don't get to do very often and the opportunities don't often arise, so grab any work experience whilst you can!
Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
14th May 2020