Budding medical students, aged 16+, can benefit from an enhanced work experience programme at The Health Academy, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals thanks to a partnership between the Clinical Education & Widening Participation Team.
Clinical Skills Tutor Jacqui Green came up with the idea after assisting on the Manchester Medical School open days and talking to potential students. She has since liaised with the Widening Participation Team, who are responsible for managing all work experience placements in the Trust, to trial a pilot scheme over summer which identifies students with an interest in medicine.
Jacqui and Widening Participation Tutor, Brittany Mollart work together to ensure that these students are placed in clinical areas where they can work alongside the medical team to maximise their understanding of the profession. This will also provide valuable experience to aid their entry to medical school.
Rather than being enrolled straight to a ward, the students will now register at the Health Academy where the Clinical Skills Team meet them on the first morning of the placement. The tutors then go through the practical elements of infection control and the importance of professionalism and confidentiality. The students are then given an information booklet and workbook to use during their placement to help with their application to medical school. After the session, the Clinical Skills team take the students over to their allocated ward and are introduced to a ‘buddy’ who will be one of our current undergraduate medical students or a Foundation doctor. The new buddy system enables the work experience student to work directly alongside the medical team giving them a fantastic insight into the life of a medical student. The programme also means that the ‘buddy’ develops their coaching technique, a fundamental skill which will enrich their training.
Future work experience students may also have the opportunity to attend classes being delivered to undergraduate medical students when this fits into their placement. This will allow them to experience the different learning environments from ‘hands on’ clinical skills sessions to simulation training in the high tech simulation suite.
This is a fantastic opportunity for A-level students to gain work experience and find out what it’s really like to be a medical student. It can be extremely eye-opening but it also encourages and motivates them to think that yes, this is the career for me.Jacqui Green