Three Northampton College students have gained an “invaluable insight” into life as a healthcare professional thanks to a new partnership with Northampton General Hospital.

Muhammad Abdullah, Maisy Woods and Lee Hayes are the first cohort of students to have the opportunity to undertake a 12-week placement, experiencing day-to-day life in the NHS frontline across a range of departments.

The group combined the two days a week placement with their studies at Northampton College’s Booth Lane campus, where they are coming to the end of their Level Three Health and Social Care course. Their experience will now stand them in good stead for the next step on their career pathway, with all three heading off to university later this year.

Muhammad, aged 21 from St James, will study adult nursing at the University of Northampton. He said: “It’s been a fantastic opportunity and given me an invaluable insight into what I am going to be doing for the next three years. I now have a clear understanding of the role and it has really helped to develop my skills.”

Maisy, aged 18 from Higham Ferrers, is heading to the University of Wolverhampton to study paramedic sciences and said: “It’s opened my eyes to what it takes to work in a hospital. I’ve always been aware of the hard work that health care professionals do but I now have more respect for them than ever before.”

Lee, from Kingsley, will head to Birmingham City University to study learning disability nursing. The 17-year-old from Kingsley added: “It’s been a very fast-paced placement, you’re on your feet all day and it’s hard work but it’s so worth it. I would love to work in a prison or mental health setting and work with people with behavioural issues - this has been a fabulous introduction to what could lay in store.”

The pilot scheme is the first stage of an official partnership between NGH and the college, and leaders are hopeful it could potentially be rolled out further in the future – helping to give Northampton-based students a clear pathway towards a career working within the hospital.

Karen Adcock, project manager for professional and practice development at NGH, said: “We hope this arrangement will raise students’ awareness of the fantastic career opportunities we are able to offer - including flexible routes into nursing through our apprenticeship pathways which exists alongside traditional undergraduate nursing programmes.

“We realise that the local talent pool in Northampton is our future workforce and hopefully this partnership will flourish and we will continue to expand it as a model.”

The students spent time in six different areas during their placement, including infection prevention, discharge, integrated surgery, dermatology, ambulatory care and acute pain services. The students were supported by clinical supervisors and mentors from the hospital’s professional and practice development department.

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