Health Education England has been encouraging young people to take a first step into an NHS career by learning about the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) skills needed for many of the 350 different NHS careers at last week’s Big Bang UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair.
Enthusiastic visitors to the NHS Health Careers stand followed a heart attack patient’s journey through the NHS, from emergency response to treatment and recovery, meeting healthcare students and NHS staff on the way. Students from schools across the country were able to get inside an ambulance, try out their CPR skills, test out ECG and ultrasound machines and practise their syringe skills by taking fake blood from a phlebotomy training arm.
Amanda Wilson, a teacher at St Peter and St Paul Catholic Voluntary Academy in Lincolnshire:
“The NHS stand has been absolutely amazing. It is so interactive. We are so intrigued with the ultrasound machine and phlebotomy blood taking arm. It has been an amazing experience for our students.”
HEE’s NHS Health Careers team and staff from West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) were on hand to answer all questions and help get a real understanding of roles available at each stage of the patient journey from paramedics and A&E nurses to healthcare scientists and dietitians. HEE partnered with Medical Mavericks who provided the interactive demonstrations for the young visitors to get up close and practise their skills.
Darren Aldrich, Head of communications for NHS Health Careers at Health Education England:
“The hands-on activities at each stage of the patient journey helps students gain a better understanding of the range of careers in the NHS while giving them a taste of what working in the NHS is like. Whether they are taking blood, using an ECG to measure heart rates or an ultrasound to see inside arteries, we hope it will inspire the next generation to choose the NHS as a career. For me personally, I have loved seeing that spark of inspiration in the faces of these young people, as they discover how they can use their interest in STEM to make a difference to people’s lives.”
Tom Warrender, Head of Medical Mavericks:
“Attending the Big Bang Fair alongside Health Education England and WMAS is a fantastic way to introduce young people to the amazing careers and opportunities in the health sector. Having the opportunity to speak to them and demonstrate some of the fantastic tech from these careers gives them a unique insight into what is possible!”