Budding medics from across Swindon and Wiltshire came to the Great Western Hospital this week to see healthcare experts in action and get a taste for their future career.
Nearly 30 A Level students from local schools and colleges took part in the annual Dare to Doctor school, which gives 17-year-olds the chance to spend time on actual wards and shadow real-life doctors as they carry out their duties.
Students from New College in Swindon, Cirencester College, Farmors School in Fairford and St John’s Academy in Marlborough attended the three-day event which also prepared the teens for upcoming medical school interviews.
They also were shown basic life support skills and shown how to carry out the resuscitation techniques on the hospital’s family of simulation manikins.
Erica Nidhiry, 17, who is hoping to study psychiatry at university, spent time with the busy team in the Emergency Department.
She said: “This kind of hands-on experience is fantastic. I’ve spent a lot of time at college working from textbooks, so to be able to see how the theory plays out in real life has been a great opportunity.
“I never thought I’d be able to work in a clinical setting until I was at uni, but being able to shadow doctors, see how they work and ask questions as they care for patients has been so insightful.
“It’s been a great experience and something I hope will stand me in good stead when I begin applying to medical schools.”
Elsewhere students have seen babies being delivered in the maternity unit and observed operations in the hospital’s theatre suites.
Current medical students from the University of Bristol have also been on hand to chat with the A Levelers about university life, give advice on the application process and share tips for passing the admission interview.
Dare to Doctor, which is now in its fifth year, is just one of the ways Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust engages with its local community to highlight healthcare as a potential career path.
Other initiatives such as Dare to Nurse, Dare to Deliver and the popular Return to Practice course for nurses looking to get back into hospital also take place throughout the year.
For more information about joining the many different teams at the Great Western Hospital, visit www.gwh.nhs.uk/jobs.