The NGHS Careers Department presented ‘Careers in Healthcare’ on Monday 2 March. More than 100 girls and parents took their places in the Djanogly auditorium to listen to five female speakers share personal experiences of their own careers in Healthcare.

First on stage was our youngest speaker, Alina Burney, NGHS alumna of 2014, who’s completed her MPharm at Lincoln and is now a pre – registration Pharmacist; her amusing patient anecdotes quickly dispelled any notions her audience may have had about the role of the Pharmacist being behind the medical scenes. Empathising with the younger members of the audience, part of Alina’s message was that it’s okay to be in Sixth Form without firm career or course ideas; things will still work out.

Next we heard from NGHS parent and alumna, Dr Louise Braham. With a career that includes work at the Rampton High security Hospital, Louise described a career in Clinical Psychology that involved a seriously high level of academic study, starting with undergraduate Psychology at Manchester University, followed by a Master’s Degree and then further study for a doctorate followed by post doctoral research. Definitely a role for people who have a ‘passion for people’ and love to research but most definitely worth the hard work! Speech and Language Therapist (SLT) and NGHS mum Kirsten Hilton spoke next about what it takes to succeed in this career, outlining the diverse settings in which professionals can work. This can range from prisons to Gender Identity clinics to stroke wards, and with patients who may be at the very beginning or very end of life. As with many careers in healthcare, gaining an insight into the SLT role through work experience is very useful and Kirsten made some great recommendations about how to find this through  Health Education East Midlands

Pat Groves has worked as a dentist for nearly forty years but is still thrilled to be able to help people, whether that’s through simply stopping the pain or improving dental appearance and thus personal confidence. Treating us to an entertaining walk-through a career that she clearly loves, Pat talked frankly about the good days and the bad, the ‘heart sink‘ patients and the rewards of taking her skills and her trusted dental bag to Uganda, where people will walk for hours to have their teeth extracted !

Last up on stage was another NGHS parent, Dr Sarah Khan, Consultant Oncologist, who spoke of the absolute privilege of being a doctor, challenging the students in the audience to think hard about their reasons for taking on the onerous journey of not just getting into medical school, but the graft that still awaits them after their initial training. Reflection is clearly a key skill for a doctor and Sarah strongly encouraged our aspiring medics to develop this skill early throughout their volunteering and work experience.

So just a taste of the range of careers available in Healthcare but an evening that offered invaluable personal insights, and added an extra dimension to the research that NGHS students need to undertake before making important decisions about their future. This was an informative and entertaining event – a huge thank you to our fantastic speakers for giving up their time.

Mrs Fran Hansford
Head of Careers