I joined the NHS because I wanted to improve patient care and develop my career in a rewarding environment. I’d already done various temp jobs in a London hospital, so I wasn’t completely unprepared, but once I started the scheme I soon realised I had a lot to learn!
It’s given me the chance to work in a very big, diverse organisation, with dynamic and inspiring colleagues, during a particularly exciting time because of all the changes taking place. And I don’t think I’d have got the same sense of job satisfaction anywhere else.
The South West is a great place to live and work but it also faces the same challenges as the rest of the UK, with ageing populations putting a strain on resources. Although I spend most of my time here I often travel around the country for lectures and conferences.
At Salisbury FT I designed and built clinical applications such as digital image storing to help clinicians using a system called Excelicare. This was a great project as I was involved at every stage – from flying to Glasgow to learn how to build applications to running user training sessions!
My normal day could include anything from discussing system specifications, attending project meetings and writing reports to preparing business cases. I’m about to start a new placement in Bristol which will involve working on a range of projects such as information governance and capacity planning – sometimes at directorate level.
My proudest achievement so far has been developing a system for Salisbury hospital, working with rheumatology clinicians. The system collects data in real time during clinics to calculate disease activity scores: saving nursing time and improving accuracy. Patients can also get their results printed on the spot instead of having to wait for a letter.
One big advantage of the graduate scheme is that you can tailor your placements to your own personal development plan. There’s also a great support network. I’ve been able to develop my project management and leadership skills and I’ll use them to further my career.
I’d recommend the scheme to anyone who wants an exciting learning experience. It’s a great chance to improve patients’ experiences, progress your career and work with truly inspiring people.