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Success all round for our first work experience students

Photo of work experience young people

The team at Clinical Research Network (CRN) Wessex were delighted to welcome Adobea and Zufian during the summer for three days of work experience.

Led by Kirsty Rogers, CRN Wessex Education and Training Manager, this was a first for CRN Wessex and continued the collaborative work taking place with Portsmouth-based charity, URBOND as part of the national Research Ready Communities programme. This initiative aims to look at building better relationships with communities that are currently under-served by health and care research and increase their access to health and care research opportunities.

Adobea and Zufian spent three packed days with CRN Wessex which saw them meeting members of the team on day one and included learning how to take a manual blood pressure.

Day two they were able to learn more about research in a large acute trust and visited the Clinical Research Facility as well as spending time in the clinical trials lab, pharmacy and a visit to the Research and Development team. As part of this, they even managed to get to spin some ‘blood’ samples. The biomedical scientist created this with water, oil, food colouring and golden syrup to allow the ‘blood’ to be spun in the centrifuge meaning the ‘serum’ could be removed with a pipette.

For day three, they were set the task of presenting to a small group of CRN staff who they had met during their time. They demonstrated clearly all their gained knowledge of research in the NHS and were able to offer fantastic ideas as to how we can engage with young people to help get the message of the importance of research to their generation and inspire the next future researchers.  They were also welcomed by Joe Salmon at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust who was able to give them insight into a community trust allowing Adobea and Zufian to see the differences in research delivery to that of an acute trust.

Commenting, Kirsty Rogers said: “It’s been an absolute pleasure to spend time with Adobea and Zufian over the last three days – they’ve been inquisitive, asking relevant questions and are clearly motivated and driven with their ambitions to work in healthcare. I really hope this experience with CRN Wessex will mean research forms part of their careers in the future in some shape or form!”

Zoe Sheppard, Research Delivery Manager for CRN Wessex also comments: "We've been absolutely delighted to host the two young people from URBOND to do some work experience with us. This was part of a collaboration with the charity to raise awareness of research in order to make communities more 'research ready'.  It's been fantastic to hear their refreshing insights into how we can do this.  We hope that they found the experience valuable and that they will also spread the word about the importance of research.  Hopefully this is the start of hosting more such initiatives in the future."

And finally, a few words from the students themselves. Adobea, 16, an aspiring paediatrician tells us about the experience: “The visit to UHS and the community hospital was very fun and informative. I loved everything and would 100,000% recommend this to other students.” Zufian, 20, an aspiring nurse said: “It made me have an interest in maybe becoming a research nurse and I do recommend it to other students who aspire to work in healthcare. It’s been eye opening into the world of research!”

This work experience will hopefully be the first of many. It involved team members and colleagues from not only CRN Wessex but across the NHS network. Thank you to all those who took the time to share the importance and passion for health and social care research.