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Work experience student studying a book in the Clinical Coding department

Over 40 year 10 and year 12 students have visited Airedale General Hospital as part of a new work experience programme.

After being contacted by local students seeking work experience, the Organisational, Learning and Improvement Team at Airedale NHSFT decided to set up their own programme and reach out to local schools and colleges to see if they wanted to take part.

Clare Hogg, Organisational Learning and Improvement Officer, said:

“Work experience is a great opportunity to give students an insight into real-time working scenarios.

“Many students of this age will have little to no experience of work and the programme enables them to gain vital skills that are valuable to future employers including self-management, team working, communication, IT and software skills and leadership skills.”

The students have visited Airedale Hospital from local schools including Ermysted’s Grammar School in Skipton, Holy Family Catholic School in Keighley, Settle College, South Craven School in Cross Hills, West Craven High School in Barnoldswick and Colne Primet Academy.

Over the course of one week, students rotated between different admin-based teams across the Trust where they could gain an insight into the different roles available within the NHS.

The students visited departments including Finance, Library, Clinical research and governance, Anaesthetics Admin, Emergency Department, Estates and Facilities, Vaccination Centre, IT, Business Development and Catering admin.

Wherever possible, students were allocated areas that they were interested in and encouraged to try other areas they may not have thought of.

Katherine Duke, Deputy Director of People and Organisational Development said:

“As one of the largest employers in the area, we are delighted to be able to work with our local schools to provide work experience. With over 350 different careers in the NHS there are a number of different opportunities on offer.

“We hope that many of our future colleagues will come from our local community and so this is a great opportunity for us to showcase Airedale as a place where people want to come and work.”

15-year-old Tava from Primet Academy is interested in pursuing a medical career in the future and visited several areas within the hospital.

Tava said:

“This week, I spent time with Medical Records, Clinical Coding, Finance, Communications and the Charity.

“My favourite department that I have visited has been Communications as I got to see how it is a vital part of the Trust and how it helps the community and hospital reach their best potential by keeping everyone informed.

“It was also interesting to see how the Charity works and how money goes back into the hospital.

“I believe work experience is vital for young people as it is an eye opener into the working environment. The experience at Airedale lets you see what goes on behind the medicine and how hospitals are not just solely doctors and nurses.”

15-year-old Muhammad from Ermysteds Grammar School is looking to pursue a career in Economics/business and enjoyed learning about how hospitals are structured.

Muhammad said:

“So far, my favourite departments have been Stroke Admin, Clinical Skills and Communications as I was involved in more interactive and in-depth discussions regarding their departments and their inner workings.”

Work experience student, Muhammad, comparing newspapers during his time with the Communications Team

17-old-Alice is currently studying her A-Levels at South Craven Sixth Form and wanted to gain experience at Airedale to learn more about her local hospital.

Alice said:

“I chose to do my work experience at Airedale because it is the heart of the community and whenever I have personally visited the hospital, the staff have been friendly, welcoming and efficient. This is the sort of environment I could see myself working in in the future.

“I think work experience is so important as it helps to develop an individual’s skillset and helps them to decide the best pathway for the future. I was surprised by how many different departments there are at Airedale and how they all work together to produce the best outcome possible for the community.”

Staff have also seen a benefit to the students visiting.

Clare Hogg said:

“Work experience enables our staff to think out of the box about what they do and how they do it. It also gives colleagues who might not ordinarily get the opportunity to train others to gain leadership experience.

“The programme has also resulted in a number of departments looking into offering apprenticeships in the future.”

Work experience placements can be arranged by contacting our Organisational Learning and Improvement Team at anhsft.workexperience@nhs.net.