Virtual work experience

A virtual work experience programme designed to address Covid restrictions 

Cat Humphreys practice development physiotherapist
Cat Humphreys is a practice development physiotherapist

This was a unique and innovative project to design an interdisciplinary seminar to engage, inform and inspire a future generation of allied health professionals.

Our team felt strongly that people considering a career in healthcare still had access to some form of work experience to support them in choices about future study or career paths.

So, a team of clinicians representing dietetics, occupational therapy and physiotherapy, across adult and children’s services, created a virtual work experience event.

Those who usually engage with our work experience are school pupils, but we wanted to be more inclusive, recognising that people look to join our professions either as a postgraduate or as a second career later in life. Therefore it was an evening event to enable people who might be working to attend and also to avoid taking staff away from clinical duties.  

Those who attended were predominantly school pupils, and there was also a postgraduate interested in a career in physiotherapy. The audience appreciated the interaction with clinicians. These sessions will run regularly until we can resume our usual face to face programme. We may continue some virtual sessions as they allow access to work experience for those unable to benefit from our face to face, day time programme. 

Next time we will include short, pre-recorded patient interviews discussing how treatment has helped them. I distinctly remember how talking to patients really inspired me into physiotherapy. By incorporating the patient voice, we hope to bring further understanding of our different roles and allow others to be inspired, as we were. 

In the spirit of the NHS people plan we have worked creatively to continue attracting people to the professions, whilst striving to maintain business as usual during the second wave of Covid. 

This project has strengthened inter-professional and personal relationships. At a time when we are challenged in untold ways, stronger bonds between us are vital to our wellbeing but also bring benefit to patient experience.

Feedback shows value:

“the event gave me more motivation and an even more positive outlook on my future”
“slides were great and very interactive session and being able to ask questions at regular intervals”
“a great alternative to work experience. It can still help with your choice and it helped me understand the role of different health careers”

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