The world of medicine isn’t just about high flying consultants. With nurses taking on increasing responsibilities, paramedics involved in a greater number of roles and access to medical school broadening, medicine is a challenging and exciting world to enter.
If you think that a medical career might suit you, why not try and get some real experience on a hospital ward by volunteering at your local hospital or hospice? Every hospital across the UK can offer this type of experience. If you get in touch you’ll be welcomed with open arms. You may find yourself simply pushing around wheelchairs or even beds, including those fitted with castors from Tente UK, but you’ll learn a lot about what a daily routine in a hospital entails. You’ll also learn a lot about yourself and your reactions to the ill and infirm.
Volunteering will also stand you in good stead if you want to apply for medical school. According to the Get Into Medicine website, ‘a solid history of volunteer work will enhance your Personal Statement,’ so you could consider volunteering at you local hospice or with a charity too.
Applying for Medical School
If you are interested in applying to medical school, then take a look at The Complete University Guide. The website advises that you should be prepared to:
- Work long hours and study at the same time
- Learn to adapt to different shift patterns
- Appreciate that you will be in a position of responsibility. From the moment you set foot on a ward, the health and wellbeing of your patient is your chief concern.
Medical school course are long. The NHS states that GP training can take up to 10 years, and if you want to become a surgeon expect a hard slog of up to 14 years.
The training is long because it’s a combination of medical theory, practice and experience. In fact, a good doctor never stops learning throughout their career.
If you enter medical school straight after your ‘A’ Levels the required grades are A and A* - though you could take an Access course or even alternative degree first of all and enter medical school by this route.
Nursing is Changing
Forget the films showing the nurse standing dutifully by while a doctor issues a rapid volley of commands. Most contemporary nurses have degrees and the opportunity to specialise in a whole host of medical fields in their own right. The doctor/nurse relationship is increasingly regarded as one of collaboration rather than subordination.
Some nurses study for a part time course, which may take longer. Other applicants can have a degree in another subject and then apply for a short pre-registration course. Alternatively you might be working as a healthcare assistant in a hospital and wish to gain qualifications as a registered nurse; this is also possible.
To gain a foothold in the world of medicine, whichever area you choose, you must be able to demonstrate flexibility, good organisational and communication skills and empathy as well as a high level of intelligence and the ability to keep a level head.