The next generation of NHS staff are already in the workplace thanks to a new ‘innovative hands-on’ programme.
The new ‘T-Level’ students have been taken in from Bolton College and as part of their cours required to complete 160 hours of work experience.
This, Bolton NHS Foundation Trust hopes, will give them all the skills they need to join the health service at a time when they are desperately needed.
T-Level student Ebbony Sykes, 16, said: “When I was younger I wanted to be a footballer, but I soon decided that being a paramedic was what I actually wanted to do.
“I think it’s the adrenaline rush that I like the most about it, but also doing a good job and helping people.”
The 16-year-old has seen the work paramedics do up close, including wound care, dressing leg ulcers, catheter changes and the insertion and removal of stitches.
All of this has convinced her further still that she wants to join the paramedics in carrying out their life saving work.
Ebbony said: “I’ve learned and seen so much so far.
“I’m definitely not afraid of wounds or blood or anything like that.
“I think learning about catheters and how they work has been the most interesting bit so far.”
She added: “The Treatment Room team are just amazing, they’re like one big family who have really made me feel welcome.
“They always make sure I’m getting involved and that I’m looked after and no question is silly to them, they answer any question I have.”
Managers at the Trust hope that more people across Bolton will follow this example and consider T-Levels as their route into careers with the NHS.
Matron Rachel Taylor said: “We have really valued having Ebbony join us these past few weeks, she’s a great addition to the team and is always keen to get stuck in.
“She definitely has a bright future in healthcare.
“I think it’s really important for young people who are interested in a career in health and social care to see what really goes on day in day out.
“The Treatment Room is a great place for them to start as there is so much variety in what we see each day.
“It also helps that we are located on a bus route here at Waters Meeting so that the students can easily get here.”