Cadetships allow students to decide which area they’d like to specialise in within the hospital

Charlotte Tyler is studying a Level 3 Health and Social Care course at Chesterfield College. She is about to finish her Cadetship at Chesterfield Royal Hospital. We spoke to Charlotte about her experience, what a Cadetship is and what she has been up to for the past three weeks at the hospital.

cadetship class march 2022

When did you find out about our Cadetship programme?

“I got an email from the work placement officer we have, telling us about the opportunity to do a Cadetship at the hospital for work experience. I wrote my mini personal statement, sent it on and received an interview for it.

I thought it would be good to get experience in the wards and also to get extra training in health care for my CV and UCAS points. I have already mentioned it in university interviews and have been complimented on it.”

How does the Cadetship programme work?

“We did three days consecutively of training, manual handling, fire procedures and learnt about different patients before starting. We then started going on the wards, we have a nurse who takes groups of three to make beds, meet and feed the patients, chat with them about everything and anything. We also shadow the nurses whilst they are seeing patients to learn from them.”

What have you liked and disliked about the experience?

“So far I’ve enjoyed feeding the patients the most as it’s the most rewarding. Once they eat all of it, everyone’s so happy. It’s good to see them eat and get better.

It is very personal for the patients, sometimes it doesn’t smell great and sometimes you see things that you haven’t before. It’s what I want to do though so it’s fine. You’ve got to see it for the first time at some point.”

Are you on different wards every week?

“The first week I was on a surgical post-operation ward and then the second week I was on a stroke ward. In the final week, I will be on a children’s ward which I’m most looking forward to as I want to be a children’s nurse.

We got told because of covid we might not be allowed to go on a children’s ward because there are higher chances of covid. However, things have changed, so that’s exciting.”

Charlotte Tyler

Why did you decide that you wanted to be a children’s nurse?

“I am really good with children and I’ve always got on well with working with them. I decided to put the two together, nursing and child skills.”

Can you bring the skills you have learnt on the Cadetship back to the classroom?

“Yeah, I have learnt a lot there about what it’s like in a hospital, patient confidentiality, how to handle patients and move them. Before I wouldn’t have known how to help someone up and move them and now I can say that I can do it.”

Does doing a cadetship allow you to figure out what you want to specialise in within the health and social care industry?

“I definitely think so. There are people who have been on the Cadetship that have decided they definitely don’t want to work on a ward or with a certain age group. People have said they definitely want to be a midwife or they don’t want to be on a stroke ward for example.

I didn’t mind it, but it can show people what they do and don’t want to do.”

Were you anxious about the experience?

“I was really nervous when I first went. I wasn’t nervous for the wards until we got our uniform on and then they said we were going and then I freaked out a bit. After a while, you settle down after talking to the patients.”

If you knew about the experience before applying for the course would it of sold it to you?

“Yeah, it’s a really good experience. Not a lot of people get to go on wards. If I knew I could have gone to learn all these things, get to work with nurses etc it would have sold it to me. Plus this looks really good on my CV.

It does give me an idea of what it’s like working. I’d only ever been to the hospital to visit people before, I hadn’t worked on a ward. It gives you an idea of what actually happens in a hospital.”

Have the tutors been supportive?

“Yeah, I told them when I got the interview and spoke to the curriculum lead of health and social care about my interview and how to act and what to say. He advised me on what to talk about. When I got it, everyone was really excited and they keep asking me how I’m getting on.”

Do you have any advice for those who will be given this opportunity next year?

“Just apply for it and see. I didn’t know if I wanted to do it but I put my application in and didn’t think about it. Don’t be scared for it, I was and I was absolutely fine. I didn’t think I would learn anything, I thought I’d just be following someone around. It’s better than I thought it would be, I’ve had a lot more responsibilities. It was great to be able to interact with patients.”

Find out more about Cadetships here

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