• Question: Do you think work experience is essential?

    Asked by 382menb52 to Psychiatry Ward Team, Neel - Psychiatrist, Home Treatment Team, Early Intervention Team, Ed - Mental Health Nurse, Arts Therapy Team, Annabel - Head of HR on 29 Jan 2019.
    • Photo: Sheffield Psychiatry Ward Team

      Sheffield Psychiatry Ward Team answered on 29 Jan 2019:

      Hi, Emma here 🙂

      Unis want to see that you are committed to the specialty. This usually involves some work experience in a hospital or GP, as well as some voluntary work. However, if you can’t get ‘typical’ work experience in a hospital then anything that shows you’ve considered what you are signing up for is good – even I’m a Medic for example!

      I spent half a day every two weeks at an old people’s home when I was in college, washing the pots and helping with meals, for a few months. Not particularly medical but taught me about caring for vulnerable older people, the importance of adapting things for those who need it e.g. soft foods if they have problems swallowing.

      After that I also started volunteering at a hostel for people with mental health difficulties every Saturday, helping to take them out and do activities etc. Both of those opportunities I found online, through various volunteering websites. You could always try contacting places directly and asking to speak to the manager and let them know you want to volunteer.

      I also did a week of work experience at my local hospital, which I applied to do through contacting my local hospital online. Have a look here: https://www.stepintothenhs.nhs.uk/work-experience.

      Some people are lucky enough to have doctors in the family/family friends who can help arrange this but I didn’t and managed just fine. I didn’t have much choice over which department I was in (I was placed on paediatric surgery) but the experience of working in a hospital was very worthwhile! Definitely try and arrange this sooner rather than later as it was many months before I actually stepped foot in the hospital, and there is lots of demand!

      It’s important that whatever work experience or voluntary work you do you reflect on it in your personal statement: what has it shown you? what did you learn? did anything surprise you? what did you like and dislike about it and how might you use that to tell the Uni how it has informed your choice to do Medicine?

      Equally, if you play in a sports team or any other extra curricular activities have a think about what you can learn from that – teamwork, communication etc

      At the end of the day it is not the quantity of work experience but the quality of it – best of luck!

    • Photo: Arts Therapy Team

      Arts Therapy Team answered on 29 Jan 2019:

      it gives you and idea of a job and if you might like it ( we don’t know many jobs at school apart form teaching!) also so good to have something on your CV when you apply
      for arts therapies you must have 1 year clinical work experience in order to do the training
      but you don’t have to do it for all jobs, you can go do an an academic route eg nursing and get placements on the course

    • Photo: Home Treatment Team

      Home Treatment Team answered on 30 Jan 2019:

      I do feel that work experience is really helpful as it can give you an insight on how it is looking after people in general and also can help you sell yourself at the university interviews. I was a mature student so i was fortunate to have had a lot of experience working in nursery schools, children homes, elderly care, learning disabilities and a forensic placement. I know may students had none of this experience and dropped out of university pretty quickly.
      However it is much harder to get work experience now and so any small job is still positive as it can show that are willing to put in some hours either paid or voluntary.