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


Exeter’s future doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals had the chance to learn more about possible careers in the NHS during the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital’s Work Observation Week.

The hospital’s annual work experience programme, which ran from 4th – 8th July, gave 40 year 10 pupils from schools across Exeter a chance to sample some of the many healthcare careers on offer and learn more about working in a busy acute hospital. The week included a packed programme of events including practical training sessions on basic life support and clinical skills, visits to Hospiscare and the Clinical Research Facility and work shadowing placements across the hospital.

A highlight of the week was the ‘mock ward’ exercise which gave the pupils a chance to learn more about the roles involved in patient care and the challenges that staff may face.  The exercise gave pupils the opportunity to experience how a real-life ward is run by acting out the roles of doctors, physios, Occupational Therapists, nurses and housekeepers alongside staff from the RD&E’s Workforce Planning & Development (WPD) team.


Pupil Emily Lloyd, 16, took on the role of a nurse during the exercise as said that it had helped her learn more about a possible career path. She said: “This week has been really interesting and the mock ward exercise has been really fun. It’s been educational too as I’ve learned how to test someone’s blood pressure and take their temperature.” Fellow pupil Emily Pring, who was playing the role of a patient, agreed: “When I started the week I wasn’t sure where I wanted to work but taking part in the Work Observation Week has definitely helped me figure things out. I’m now interested in nursing or becoming a paramedic.”  


Hazel Layzell, Vocational Education Facilitator at the RD&E who helped organise the week’s activities, added: “This week’s a great opportunity for those at the point of choosing their career pathway to get an insight into the workings of the NHS. They are our future therefore the more encouragement we can give hopefully they will choose the NHS as a lifelong career.”

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