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Pupils consider careers in the NHS during Work Observation Week at the RD&E


40 pupils from schools and colleges across Exeter visited the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital to gain an insight into their future career by taking part in the Trust’s ‘Work Observation Week’. 

The annual programme gives young people in Year 10 and above the chance to find out how the RD&E works and to consider the many different jobs the NHS has to offer. A highlight of the programme was the ‘mock ward’ exercise in the Research Innovation Learning and Development (RILD) building Clinical Skills rooms, which gave pupils the opportunity to experience how a real-life ward is run. By acting out the roles of doctors, physios, OT, nurses and housekeepers alongside staff from the RD&E’s Workforce Planning & Development (WPD) team they were able to learn more about the roles involved in patient care and the challenges that staff face. 

Pupils taking part in the RD&E’s Work Observation Week commented that the week had been a “great experience” and that it had “really helped in making their career choices”. The mock award exercise was a particular highpoint, helping them to realise that “there’s a lot more to the hospital than just doctors and nurses and that there are many other job roles involved in patient care”.   

Throughout the week the pupils were also given an introduction to every aspect of life at the RD&E. They enjoyed practical training sessions in manual handling, basic life support and clinical skills, and got to grips with everything from tissue viability to infection control thanks to presentations from staff. They also made visits to Hospiscare, the Clinical Skills Lab and the Laundry/ HSDU, and shadowed staff across the hospital to observe day-to-day work at the RD&E.

Teena Evans, Learning and Development Tutor at the RD&E said: “Our Work Observation Week is a really important opportunity for the students and as it enables them to have an insight into the various job roles and the workings of the hospital to help them understand the wide variety of career choices available to them within the NHS. The feedback we have received from the pupils suggests that the week was a great success.”


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