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School students take on exciting work placement at local hospital

The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust (PAHT) welcomed six local BMAT STEM students to take on an exciting work experience placement at their local hospital.

Image representing School students take on exciting work placement at local hospital

BMAT STEM Academy, part of the local Burnt Mill Academy Trust, is a state of the art and unique centre that offers a programme of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) based curriculum.

The tailored work experience schedule at the Harlow hospital allowed the students, aged 15-16, to develop their experience and understanding of a workplace environment and gain an insight into the countless employment opportunities in the NHS.

Throughout the week, the students worked alongside department managers from estates and facilities, quality improvement and laboratory services who showed them the daily running of the department. The students applied their learning and education to make evidence based recommendations for improvements to the departments they were assigned to.

The work experience week was organised by Taylor Higgitt, a former
St. Mark's Secondary School student and herself an apprentice at the hospital working on a business administration qualification in the quality improvement team. This challenge has helped Taylor to progress significantly in her apprenticeship. She said: "I have learnt a lot from organising this placement event, including how important it is to organise and have things ready in advance, for example having the rooms booked, certificates designed and made and schedules tailored to each specific student.  

Ronnie Witcomb, BMAT STEM academy, shadowed the clinical team in the laboratories that test patients' urine and blood samples. He suggested using an automated request system for any add-on samples throughout the day. This will ensure time is used more efficiently. Ronnie said: "I've found the work experience week extremely useful; it allowed me to gain an insight into the NHS and improve my communication skills."

Ruby Ayres, BMAT STEM academy, shadowed in the electrical biomedical engineering (EBME) department. The role ensures all medical equipment is in the correct department across the hospital.

One area of service improvement Ruby identified would be a system that tracks medical devices around the hospital. Ruby said: "I hope to become a midwife in the future, so this week has been very interesting for me. It has given me an insight into how the NHS runs on a daily basis and the endless career opportunities available.

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