Two Health and Social Care students from Salford City College’s Walkden Sixth Form Centre have been gaining hands-on work experience as part of a special Cadet course. The programme is run in partnership with the College, Skills for Health Academy North West and Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust.
Sarah Fisher and Ben Lockett, both 17, are based at the hospital for two days a week, and are then required to attend college for the other three days to gain a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Health & Social Care.
During their two-year course Sarah and Ben will complete placements on three different wards at the hospital each year, with one of the second year placements required to be in a community setting. Second year Ben is currently based in A&E, and will then spend six months on placement with the paramedics at North West Ambulance Service.
“I decided to take the cadets course as I felt it would give me the best preparation for the world of work” said former The Swinton High School pupil Ben, who hopes to become a paramedic when he qualifies.
He added: “On placement we are required to observe staff and take part where we are able to, and the best thing about it is that we get to learn in so many different departments. I feel that the placement has given me confidence, organisational skills and great opportunities.”
Former Harrop Fold Specialist Arts College pupil Sarah is in her first year at college, and began her placement in November. She explained, “I’ve started on the neurosurgery ward, which is intense but I am really enjoying it- I wish I could stay on this ward for my whole placement!”
Next year Sarah is hoping to do her community placement working with children at Pendleton Gateway, and then go on to do a degree in Children’s Nursing at King’s College London, specialising in cognitive disability.
When asked how she would sum up her placement in two words, Sarah said: “Rewarding and intense! It is just so fulfilling making someone happy, especially when they get to go home from hospital.”
Luke Jones, the students’ Healthcare Cadet Support Practitioner, said: “The Healthcare Cadet programme is a great opportunity for local young people to gain valuable experience within the hospital setting and enables them to explore the various career opportunities within the NHS and make decisions on their own career path.”