Countess ushers in Chester’s new ‘NHS Squad’
A group of teenagers have called themselves the ‘NHS Squad’ on Snapchat after an inspiring work placement at the Countess of Chester Hospital.
The year 10 pupils were given an insight into the many roles and departments that often go unseen in the hospital, as well as meeting nurses, doctors and patients on the wards.
Despite coming from different schools the bonds created by the experience led to them creating a Snapchat group called ‘NHS Squad’, allowing them to continue sharing ideas as they plan for their futures.
“I’ve always wanted to be a doctor, but I never knew what kind and I never knew about the other roles in the NHS. It really is amazing to see just how many people work together for the patient,” Megan Brocklehurst, who goes to Upton by Chester High School, said.
“The placement has been extremely well organised, whether it was in Outpatients 1 or on a ward, and to see patients and be in the environment is confirming for me and for a lot of people that this is what I want to do. It’s one of the best experiences I’ve had.”
A total of 24 students from across the area applied for the placement, with all of them completing a mock interview beforehand to get used to discussing their knowledge, hopes and skills.
During the five-day placement they had presentations from junior doctors, consultants and also learned about manual handling, managing type 1 diabetes and taking blood pressure readings from the Practice Development Nurses.
They also attended a training course about dementia, found out about the work the Countess Charity does to support clinicians and had a behind the scenes tour of the Trust’s on-site catering department.
Here are some comments about the week:
- Chloe Grant, from The Catholic High School, Chester, said: “One of the patients I met was the highlight of my week. She was so friendly and lovely.”
- Ben Pleavin, from Neston High, who actually gave up the first two days of his summer holiday to finish the placement, said: “The nurses are all really nice. We got to meet theatre staff who showed us how to scrub in and I also learnt a lot of things I didn’t know before, such as there are many different types of dementia.”
- Angela Benson, from West Kirby Grammar School, said: “We had a tour of the kitchens so that was interesting, seeing how busy that area is. We had to wear protective hats and everything.”
Widening Participation Lead Molly Whelan, who organised the activities throughout the week, said: “It’s been so rewarding to see the guys get so much out of being here every day and become such good friends – they even went out for a Nando’s together on their last day! I’m so grateful to all of the teams at the hospital who made it such an interesting experience for them. We got to show them so many different areas that go unseen a lot of the time and it really helped them to understand all the different roles on offer within the NHS.”