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Work experience

Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust recognises the value of work experience for students and individuals considering future career pathways within the NHS.

Placement availability is very limited and demand is always high, so we will give priority for placements to those applicants who either live or attend an educational institute within our catchment area. Candidates are advised to consider carefully what their area of interest is and express this clearly within their personal statement of application.

We accept applications from the age of 16 (Year 12), however please note that some departments have age restrictions in place and cannot accept anyone under the age of 18.

The length of placement will depend on the area of work experience. Due to high levels of demand, clinical placements will be limited to TWO DAYS ONLY. We cannot guarantee the hospital or specialty that you will be placed with.

We currently do not offer placements in the following areas:

  • Intensive Care Units and High Dependency Units

For placements on wards and clinics you should:

  • be studying towards, or have made an application for the qualifications that will enable you to start a career in the area for which you are applying for work experience
  • be committed to applying to a UK university within the next 12 months if you are intending to studying towards a nursing degree
  • ensure you have given enough information in your supporting statement to show your intended career path and how this placement will help you

For medical placements you should:

  • be studying towards, or have made an application for the qualifications that will enable you to start a career in the area for which you are applying for work experience
  • be committed to apply to a UK medical school within the next 12 months
  • have gained at least 5 GCSEs at grade A/A*. Mathematics and some of the sciences may be at B grade, however please note the majority of successful applicants to medical school will have considerably higher grades

Depending on availability, at present we are also able to offer work experience in the following non-clinical areas:

  • Learning and Development
  • Libraries
  • Health Records
  • Estates and Facilities
  • Programme Management

If you are interested in any other areas for non-clinical experience please make this clear on your application form and we will try to accommodate your request.

Please note our numbers are restricted and although we will consider every request for a placement we are unable to accept every applicant. We require at least three months’ notice to arrange placements and ensure paperwork and risk assessments are in place.

If you require an application pack, or have any other queries about work experience, please contact Ann Foreman, Work Experience Lead at mtw-tr.workexperience@nhs.net

If you are looking for longer term work experience then you should consider volunteering. Please register with www.jobs.nhs.uk where you will be notified when the roles are available. We are looking at a commitment of at least three hours per week for six months. If you would like further information about volunteering please contact Anne-Marie Stevens, Acting Voluntary Services Manager. Email: annemariestevens@nhs.net Telephone: 01622 224719 or 07860757204.

If you are already studying medicine and require a longer work placement/clinical attachment, please contact mtw-tr.medicalstaffing@nhs.net

If you are a medical student from outside of the UK and are seeking a placement, please contact mtw-tr.medicalstaffing@nhs.net

Further Information

Students who are wishing to study Medicine/Nursing or Midwifery at university are usually advised that they must get some experience of working in a healthcare setting. The admissions tutors are looking for indicators that the student has:

  • Gained an insight into the work of health professionals and / or working in the healthcare system
  • Gained an insight into the patient experience (what it feels like to be a patient and what issues there might be)
  • Gained an insight into their own capabilities (strengths / weaknesses i.e. dealing with difficult situations)
  • Shown commitment and responsibility (not necessarily within a healthcare environment)

Most students assume that this requires them to shadow a Doctor/Nurse/Midwife in a hospital. Observation is one way of getting the experience for a future medical career but there are a multitude of other options open to you. Neither the General Medical Council nor the Medical Schools Council mention a requirement to carry out work experience/ observational placement in a hospital and this is backed up by the admissions policy of most, if not all, medical schools.

Students should therefore consider other options open to them:

  • Care homes and hospices
  • Volunteering in a charity shop
  • St John’s Ambulance /Red Cross
  • Helping out at a local community centre

Most importantly they are looking for an indication that, whatever the experience, the student has reflected on this experience and be able to explain how that has shaped what they feel it means to be a doctor. Universities may well contact work experience providers to confirm whether or not applicants have carried out the work experience or volunteering placement and request feedback on the applicant.

Further information on careers within the NHS can be found at www.nhscareers.nhs.uk