At Newham Hospital, we’re always looking for ways to work with our local community and community partners to provide career pathways and opportunities for young people, and in turn, develop our workforce of the future.
One of the ways we’re doing this is our partnerships with New Vic College and Newham College to deliver new T level qualifications in Healthcare and Healthcare Science. These two-year qualifications offer students interested in a career in healthcare the opportunity to take part in on-the-job experience through placements at relevant organisations, like ours.
T levels are also a great opportunity for our teams to benefit from having extra support with day-to-day tasks in their departments and offer the opportunity to mentor and inspire budding clinicians.
But don’t just take our word for it! Russell Thomson, lead nurse and manager for outpatient’s, who recently welcomed T-level students Alisha and JJ into her department shares the benefits of having them on board.
Why did you decide to offer placements for T level students?
“I decided to offer placements for T level students because I really believe in everyone’s growth. So, when I found out about the T levels course, I thought that it was a good first step for young people to develop their skills and get experience working in a hospital.
“I would have loved to have an opportunity like this when I was a young student, still considering what career I wanted to do, so I was more than happy to offer this experience to Alisha and JJ.”
What are the benefits of having T level students in the department?
“Although they may be young with limited work experience in a hospital, these students bring many different skills and a fresh perspective to the team. It’s been a pleasure to have Alisha and JJ on board to date, and they have taken everything we’ve taught them on board with a lot of enthusiasm.”
“The students come into their placements with practical training and a completed Care Certificate to provide them with basic hospital skills and knowledge. They can take blood pressure, measure height and weight, and can also be chaperones to patients. It is incredibly beneficial for us to have an extra pair of hands, and everyone in the outpatient’s department has really embraced them as part of the team.”
Do you recommend other departments facilitate T level students in their area? If so, why?
“I encourage all teams to take part in offering T level students placements in their wards. A part of learning and teaching in a hospital is giving opportunities and exposure to this unique environment. Training does take time, but we need to remember that we all start somewhere.
“T level students are our future workforce, and if we don’t support them, they will feel discouraged and be less likely to follow a career in healthcare. We should motivate them and give them the confidence that they can achieve whatever it is they want to in their career journey.”