The Belfast Health and Social Care Trust is our biggest provider of work experience opportunities and inspirations. In the last academic year (2009/2010) they provided approximately 1,500 placements and open-day inspirations.
The majority of the placements available are between 3 and 5 days in a range of occupational areas such as administration, estates and catering to the usual clinical areas, such as nursing, midwifery and medicine.
The open days are offered in the professions allied to medicine and can cater for 5 to 60 students; they vary in duration from 2 hours to a full working day. Many are geared to meet any necessary requirements that students will have for UCAS. These are delivered by experts in their fields. They were an innovator of the Open Day format, and they are now used widely across the other Health Trusts (and private-sector organizations).
Here are some quotes from students who have attended placements or open days at the Belfast Heath and Social Care Trust
Medical work experience quotes:
“The time I spent within the hospital certainly influenced my determination to pursue a career in the medical field. The staff were very accommodating. Thank you. It has helped me realize the importance of self learning and of being proactive in asking questions; understanding the needs of the patient is also vital.”
“I got to watch open-heart surgery, which involved the replacing of an artificial valve in the aorta. Due to my knowledge from Biology at AS Level, I could understand clearly what was going on. Even though this was 8 hours long, I was interested throughout. Awesome.”
Labs Work Experience quotes:
“Looking at the cell cultures in the laboratories was amazing, as I hope to do lab work in the future. It was nice to see the daily routine of the staff to get a feel of the job—very exciting.”
Nursing work experience:
“I spent time in the Clark clinic; this opened my eyes to the highs and lows of this job. There are good results and heartbreaking news to be delivered. The staff were amazing; it was emotional at times, and the sensitivity shown by staff was incredible. The experience was ‘jam packed’. I am determined to pursue this career”