Work experience

A career in mental health or learning disability services can sometimes be challenging but it is immensely rewarding. As with all NHS organisations, there are a wide variety of roles and careers available within our Trust.

Work experience with us may provide opportunities to experience a range of clinical situations and meet patients with a variety of mental health conditions, or it may involve working within one of our non-clinical teams which support the delivery of clinical services, such as finance, human resources or administration.

The team is dynamic and each member has an important role in contributing to the diagnosis, management and treatment of each person who uses our services.

Ways of getting experience

You should try to gain experience in the area of health that interests you. However, any experience in either clinical or non-clinical settings will give you an insight into the many work roles in the NHS.

Getting some relevant experience is one of the most important things you can do to help find a career in health. Some work experience placements offer a hands-on experience, while some provide insights, observation and work shadowing. All can provide a valuable experience for students looking to move into a career in the health sector.

Working in a community team means no two days are the same. All of us
bring our own expertise and personalities to the team, making it a fun and stimulating environment to work in.

Community Mental Health Nurse

How do I apply for work experience?

We have a limited number of placements in clinical settings so regrettably it is not possible to offer everyone a clinical placement. It is important to note that non clinical placements are just as good as clinical placements to experience what it’s like to work in an NHS organisation.

In order to make the process manageable, we offer 1 – 2 work experience ‘weeks’ each year.

If you wish to apply for a work experience opportunity with us please talk to your careers advisor/teacher about their selection process. The careers advisor will nominate a small number of students for our work experience placements.

Having the chance to do work experience within the NHS has made my
understanding of what they do much better.

Sixth Form Student

What will I do during my work experience?

On your first day with us you will have an introduction to the week. We will explain what to expect and what we expect from you. This will be particularly important if you are going to work in a clinical setting, where the quality of patient care and confidentiality are very important. Our staff have lots of knowledge about the area they work in and they will happily answer any questions you have. Don’t be afraid to ask them anything; there really is no such thing as a ‘silly question’.

If your placement is clinical you may, for example, be asked to sit in an outpatient clinic where you may see a variety of conditions and different presentations, including people with cognitive impairments and dementia, depression, personality disorders or phobias.

Depending on where you are for the week will determine what sort of experiences you will get, but all are valuable and will give you a real insight into the workings of our Trust and healthcare more generally.

You will also have the opportunity to be trained in Basic Life Support which is an essential skill to have as it could help you save a life one day!

On your final day you will have a chance to feedback to each other what you have learnt through short presentations.

We hope you have a fun, interesting and inspiring time with us during your week of work experience. We look forward to working with you!

More people in England work for the NHS than any other organisation.

There are over 350 different careers ranging from healthcare assistants, nurses, doctors through to administrative staff and gardeners. Many people are not aware of the range of opportunities available.

For more information on the careers in the NHS in England please visit:
www.nhscareers.nhs.uk
www.stepintothenhs.nhs.uk/careers