Work Placements

What are work placements and why are they beneficial?

Work placements are an opportunity to experience what it’s like working in an NHS organisation.

Work placements can be flexible in length and can be adapted to suit your needs and availability, for instance if you are interested in a specific department or if you would prefer to get a broader experience of what is on offer. They can be for a few days or 3-4 weeks, depending on the availability at the organisation.

Through completing a work placement, you will have gained useful experience in an NHS setting, which can help to support future applications. It is important to remember that work placements are not a part of the interview process. They allow you to meet people, get to know the NHS better and will help you in deciding if you would be interested in applying for NHS roles.

How to organise a work placement?

Work placements can be organised directly with individual NHS organisation. To express your initial interest, get in touch with the named contact on our Step into Health contacts page and outline any areas or roles of interest. It will be beneficial to have a look at the Health Careers website prior to getting in touch with an organisation to ensure that you have an idea of the areas that you would be interested in exploring.

It is important to communicate exactly what you are looking for with the employer who is organising your placement as soon as possible to ensure that you are both clear on what to expect of the placement. You can also try contacting individual recruitment leads for relevant roles to arrange a conversation or opportunity to shadow.

If there is a specific role you are interested in, you could contact the recruitment lead directly and see if there are opportunities for shadowing.

lady sat at a desk

“My two week work placement helped me get used to the NHS; it is a low-pressure time to learn.”
Response to 2019 Step into Health Evaluation Report

Once you have organised a work placement

Ensure that you are able to travel to the location and provide your own accommodation nearby if required. Ask if there is anything that you can do to prepare yourself for the placement such as bring appropriate clothing to wear or do some background reading.

Read about former solider Steve’s experience of undertaking a work placement within Northumbria NHS Foundation Trust and how it helped him secure a permanent role.

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