A wheelchair slalom, fishing for microbes and identifying vital organs were just some of the things more than 70 young people tried their hands at when they visited Scunthorpe hospital.
Children from Crowle Primary School and Winterton Primary School dropped-in for a special action-packed taster session.
The events were part of Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust’s Career Confidence programme, in conjunction with The Health Academy, which aims to promote the various careers on offer to local people.
This was the first time children as young had visited the hospital as part of the programme. Rachel Maguire, head of people development, said: “We organised these pilot taster-sessions to see if we could showcase careers in the NHS to primary school children.
“The half day sessions provided a snapshot of things in a fun and informative format that hopefully grabbed their imaginations.”
The youngsters had the chance to try their hand at steering a wheelchair through a slalom course, put out a simulated fire, bandage an arm, clear the airway of a manikin and how to do CPR.
Rachel said: “There were also special body suits where the children had to identify and place the major organs such as kidneys, lungs and heart. This provided much hilarity among the children.
“They also had the chance to don some of the personal protective equipment that our estates team have to wear when they are out and about. The estates team were on hand to bring their roles to life and prove it is not just nurses and doctors who work in a hospital!”
A spokeswoman from Crowle school said: “The children absolutely loved it. They described it as amazing, brilliant, fantastic, the best trip ever. The activities were great and I really enjoyed doing them myself.”
Winterton school said: “A massive thank you to Rachel and her team for such a fun and informative afternoon. Our children had a great time. It was excellent.”
Rachel said: “We know there is a national shortage of staff coming into the NHS so it is essential we think of innovative and creative ways of ‘growing our own’ for the future. If we can capture the imagination of local children, who knows they may be our workforce for the future.”
Alongside working with local schools and colleges, the Career Confidence programme has developed more than 33 apprenticeship programmes across its hospitals and community services.
More than 400 people are benefiting from an apprenticeship – either as a direct entry from school or college – or an existing member of staff who is extending their skills, expertise and knowledge.
Rachel added: “We know as a Trust we have to think smart about how we attract people to work here, how we retain the staff we have and how we develop our workforce for the future. It was great seeing the primary school children so enthusiastic; they really threw themselves into the activities.”
Staff from training and development, fire safety the CPD team, workshops, infection control, compliance and three doctors all helped out.