Work experience and schools outreach
Many people consider the NHS as a clinical setting, with doctors and nurses, and forget the 'behind the scenes' people from the gardener to the Chief Executive, who all play an important role towards the functioning of the hospital and the care given to the patients.
For information about the range of jobs available in a hospital, and what qualifications are recommended, visit NHS Careers. You can also visit the Trust's YouTube channel to find out about some of the roles available within out hospitals.
Getting some experience can be really important in finding an NHS career. Here are some of the different things you can do:
Work shadowing placements
This is for people who want to gain experience of being a doctor, nurse or any other profession which directly treats patients (e.g. therapists, midwives). These are called clinical roles. Due to COVID-19, placements are currently limited to one day, and are only available at certain times.
Work experience placements
This is for people who want to do non-clinical roles, such as in finance, HR or site management. It is worth remembering that while the NHS is tackling COVID-19 you might find it more difficult to find them.
Volunteers work alongside staff doing worthwhile tasks and you don’t have to volunteer full time. It could be a one-off project or a weekly commitment that you could fit around your work or studies. This could be within the hospital, in a local care or nursing home, with a local group or relevant charity.
Paid part or full time work
Any paid experience in the right sort of environment can be valuable, particularly if you receive training. NHS Jobs currently has a list of vacancies in our hospital. There are many options for further training once you join the trust so you can work your way up.
Information for medical students
If you wish to observe a specific department during a university holiday, please contact the Hull York Medical School (HYMS) directly, details can be found on their website: https://www.hyms.ac.uk/contact
Information for school and sixth form students
There are many jobs available in the NHS. For more information on what’s available, or to take a Careers questionnaire, visit Step into the NHS.
Many NHS jobs and training courses, such as university degrees and apprenticeships, need some level of experience. It is therefore essential that you have some people-focused experience of providing care or service before submitting your application. We offer work shadowing placements in clinical areas and work experience placements in non-clinical areas.
Please be aware that due to the current situation we are unable to offer two-week placements for Year 10 or 12 students. However, there are many opportunities to complete work experience virtually - see below. If you are considering a particular course or profession, make sure you find out what sort of experience they’re looking for. Contact them or visit their website as it’s best not to assume.
Clinical work shadowing
Medical schools and universities require applicants to have an understanding of what a career in the NHS involves. This understanding can be gained through shadowing a clinician in a hospital, but there are other options too. The Medical Schools Council strongly recommends voluntary work, such as working with other people in a caring or service role, in particular with people who are ill, disabled or disadvantaged. You may consider volunteering with a local youth group, in a hospice or nursing home, or working with a relevant charity.
We currently offer one-day work shadowing, which is where you spend the day following and observing a clinician in the area you are interested in, such as surgery, nursing, paediatrics or physiotherapy. Due to the current situation, shadowing is only available at certain times. To find out when shadowing is happening, please contact email@example.com.
To apply for a one day clinical shadowing you must be:
- Planning to pursue a career in a clinical area (e.g. doctor, nurse, midwife, therapist, pharmacy etc.)
- In or about to start Year 13, or older.
All students wishing to undertake a work shadowing placement must be ages 17 or older. We are unable to accommodate younger students due to the nature of the working environment.
Applicants should complete the application form providing their first two areas of interest. While we will make every effort to match applicants to their preferred choice, we may offer an alternative where the preferred choices are not available. Please note it may not be possible to accommodate all requests as we receive a higher volume of requests particularly during the busier periods of Easter, Summer and December holidays. Due to the increased demand for placements, priority will be given to applicants who live in or attend an educational institution within the catchment area of our main hospital site in York.
Other clinical work experience opportunities
Sixth Form Shadowing Project
Friends of York Hospital fund an annual work experience programme, led by Dr Paul Laboi, which allows students to gain some understanding of the field of medicine and the working of the multidisciplinary team. It runs for one afternoon a week for nine weeks and is available to students who are in Year 12 and attend either: York College, Fulford School, Huntington School, Archbishop Holgate's School, Joseph Rowntrees School or All Saints Roman Catholic School.
Hull York Medical School
The joint medical school of the Universities of Hull and York, offers its Pathways to Medicine programme in partnership with The Sutton Trust to support talented sixth form/college students who wish to pursue a career in medicine. The programme offers a range of opportunities to gain an insight into the medical profession, including information sessions and workshops, mentoring from current medicine students, information sessions with practising doctors, and support with medical school applications. For more information visit their website.
Brighton and Sussex Medical School
The school offers a virtual work experience for those looking to apply to medical school. The experience allows you to explore the roles and skill sets of six different medical specialists. Along the way, you will also consider some of the challenges and wider issues doctors face. This course is not designed to completely replace experience completed in the real world, but to provide an insight into medicine and being a doctor. You can find out more information and apply online.
University Hospitals Birmingham and Medic Mentor
They offer a virtual work experience programme which follows a number of patient journeys through primary, secondary and tertiary care. It offers the experience over six months and upon completion you are certified with 42 hours of work experience. You can find out more information and apply online.
If you are interested in becoming a GP, the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) are encouraging aspiring medics across the UK to register and use Observe GP. Observe GP is an alternative to work experience for aspiring medics aged 16 and over, who are living in the UK. It is a free and interactive video platform that provides an insight into the role of a GP and the wider primary care team. You can read information and access Observe GP online.
Doctor You has been introduced by Health Education England (link to their website) to encourage more people to consider a career in medicine. For more information, resources, videos, and to hear what it is like to be a doctor visit their website.
University of York Introduction to Nursing
The University of York are offering a free self-led course on an introduction to nursing, covering the bioscience, psychology and sociology of nursing. For more information please visit: Introduction to nursing - Study at York, University of York.
For information on becoming a nurse, midwife, or nursing associate, visit the Nursing and Midwifery Council website where you can find a course in the UK which interests you and information on how to apply.
There are 14 roles known as the Allied Health Professions: art therapists, drama therapists, music therapists, chiropodists/podiatrists, dietitians, occupational therapists, operating department practitioners, orthoptists, osteopaths, paramedics, physiotherapists, prosthetists and orthotists, radiographers and speech and language therapists. For more information about these roles and how to become one visit the NHS website or the Health Careers page.
An alternative route into healthcare professions is via apprenticeships. Visit Health and science / Occupational Maps / Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education to learn about the career pathways available within the NHS.
Work experience placements
There is more to the NHS that being a doctor or nurse. Non-clinical roles in the NHS are all the staff that keep the organisation running smoothly and keep the hospital safe and clean. In the UK there are over 500,000 non-clinical staff. For more information on the wide range of jobs available visit healthcareers.
- facilities and site staff: catering, cleaning, building maintenance, environmental services, security and reception
- administration: secretary, clerk, health records staff, typists, personal assistants, switch board operators, administrators
- human resources
- education and library staff
- corporate services: arts management, chaplaincy, communications and public relations
- finance staff - accounts, procurement, payroll and financial analysts
- medical engineering
Work experience placements are available for up to two weeks.
All students wishing to undertake a work shadowing placement must be Year 12 or older. We are unable to accommodate younger students due to the nature of the working environment.
Applicants should complete the application form providing their first two areas of interest. While we will make every effort to match applicants to their preferred choice, we may offer an alternative where the preferred choices are not available. Please note it may not be possible to accommodate all requests as we receive a higher volume of requests particularly during the busier periods of Easter, Summer and December holidays, and July term-time. Due to the increased demand for placements, priority will be given to applicants who live in or attend an educational institution within the catchment area of our main hospital site in York.
Information for schools
It is crucial that we keep young people who are interested in a career in the NHS motivated and inspired. We are working on different ways to provide an insight into different careers within the NHS, both clinical and non-clinical. The Trust employs over 10,000 people in over 350 roles.
There are a range of classroom resources available on Step into the NHS, and we have produced a series of careers videos suitable for Year 7 and above. Nothing beats getting someone in to give their experiences of their job first hand; if you would like a one-off talk from a clinician, please look at the Humber, Coast and Vale Ambassador Scheme.
We are keen to make links with all educational institutions - primary, secondary, college and universities - and have a range of opportunities which link into the Gatsby Benchmarks. If you are interested linking up with the Trust for careers education, curriculum links or anything else, please contact Ellie Dove at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previous involvement has included
- Attending careers fairs
- Delivering employment talks on application and interview skills
- Broadening horizons talks to highlight the range of jobs in the NHS
- Mock interviews
- Question and answer sessions with clinicians
- Curriculum links (for example between science departments and our Lab Services)