“I enjoyed learning that there is the opportunity to learn, not just about one job in the primary care sector but, about multiple jobs which are crucial in the primary care sector.”
“I enjoyed the information that was given on different careers and the insights into different roles within the sector. ”
“This programme allowed me to see how there is a wide variety of different opportunities that you can go for.”
The Birmingham and Solihull (BSol) Training Hub works closely with all of the primary care providers across the Birmingham and Solihull Integrated Care Board area, building the professional education, recruitment and retention, and general workplace experience of primary care staff. As part of this, it works with local practices and educational establishments to provide placements and training, helping them to fill vacancies with the right staff at the right time.
Primary care covers more than GPs and paramedics, and the BSol Training Hub was keen to highlight and demystify roles within primary care in the local area. Key to this was explaining to students considering primary care careers what roles are available and what they entail. The Hub wanted the programme to complement existing training offerings, and some physical work experience programmes on offer. It was keen to attract a diverse cohort, reflective of the area in which it operates.
Working closely with BSol Training Hub, we created a programme that covered the distinct areas of care and the roles, responsibilities, and opportunities within these. This included, but was not limited to GPs, nursing, allied health professions, and non-clinical roles. In order to engage an audience of students aged 14 and above, there were quizzes, interactive activities and, crucially, the chance to speak to industry experts.
The first module gave a general overview of primary care and the roles, skills and values involved. Students then progressed to more specific aspects, some familiar, some less so. Nursing being one of the former, although the range of nursing roles including GP nurses, advanced nurse practitioners and nursing associates may have been new to some.
A less familiar area for many was covered in the module on allied health professions - all of those who interact with the primary care setting, such as physiotherapists and emergency health technicians. Next, students moved on to examine pharmacy and routes into the profession, before a module on General Practice. Two modules on care roles and non-clinical roles followed, examining different caring professions and the wider healthcare team that helps to deliver primary care.
Finally there was a module on getting career-ready with tips on applying for careers in primary care and insight into the opportunities available. This was bolstered by a certificate of completion that students could add to their CV.
A total of 49 students enrolled in the course and gave it an average rating of 8.3 out of 10. After the programme 100% of students felt they had a good or excellent awareness of careers in the sector, up from 56% previously. Similarly all students were likely or very likely to consider a career in the sector, whereas only three quarters were beforehand.
The programme also boosted confidence, with 83% feeling very confident about finding a job in the future, only 13% beginning the course felt this way. Half of students also felt very confident in speaking to an industry professional, none having this level of confidence before completing the programme.
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