Andrew's work placement provides invaluable experience
Grantham College student Andrew Trollope gained an in-depth insight into the work of our NHS heroes recently when he completed a week of work experience that’s helped him determine his future career.
Andrew, who is aged 19 and studying on an Access to Higher Education course, shadowed staff in a range of clinical roles at Ruskington Medical Practice just before the Coronavirus lockdown. He learnt about everything from how to interact with patients to how to take a blood sample and each day offered a new perspective on the wide-ranging work of the surgery.
Andrew said, “Spending time with the Clinical Care Coordinator was invaluable. I attended community visits with him and listened to his interactions with patients as he reviewed the care they receive. Alongside the Healthcare Support Worker, I learnt about phlebotomy, which is the taking of blood cultures, how they’re processed and then used to investigate patients’ health.”
“I also work-shadowed an Occupational Therapist on a typical shift and met the extraordinary people she has helped to overcome physical and mental health impairments. She showed me the range of aids she prescribes and how she refers patients to other services,” he added.
All the staff at the surgery were welcoming and encouraged Andrew’s questions, giving detailed explanations to promote his learning. They also discussed with him the different career pathways they themselves had taken.
Andrew’s placement was, understandably, mainly observing the work of the clinical staff. However he did gain a little first-hand experience.
Andrew explained, “With a patient’s consent and under full supervision, I was able to apply a tourniquet and feel for veins prior to the taking of their bloods. This gave me a more direct experience of the procedures a Healthcare Support Worker performs.”
Andrew developed his employability skills too during his week’s placement.
He said: “Communication was key throughout the whole placement. I improved my ability to participate in an active conversation, asking related questions and building my knowledge. Also, I observed how professionals communicate with patients in different circumstances, ensuring they all receive the best possible care.”
Andrew especially appreciated the chance to spend time with an Urgent Care Practitioner, witnessing primary care work and how practitioners analyse urgent needs in a rural setting. In fact the chance to shadow all the specialist staff played a real part in helping Andrew to make a big decision about his own future career.
He explained, “I’m so grateful to all the staff at the surgery for the opportunities and insights they gave me! I went in with an open mind about two possible career options: nurse or paramedic. Staff at the practice had taken both routes and gave good reasons for each one. However, as a result of my work experience I’ve now decided, given I’m particularly interested in urgent care, to pursue a career as a paramedic.”
Since his placement Andrew has wasted no time at all in planning his next steps. He starts a degree in Paramedic Science at university this September. With his new experiences and knowledge, he’ll be sure to make a flying start.