On the final week before the Christmas break, Biology, Health and Social Care and Sports Studies students partook in an exciting live event coordinated by Medical Mavericks. Medical Mavericks are an organisation aiming to inspire the next generation of medics and scientists. In a non-COVID world they would take real medical and sports science equipment into schools, colleges and events across the UK. To continue to engage and educate students, Tom Warrinder from Medical Mavericks adapted their events for online delivery, resulting in the creation of The Human Guinea Pig Virtual Show: Inside the NHS! This one-hour show consists of live medical demonstrations, information on higher education courses and careers, and an opportunity for participants to interact and ask questions related to the content of the show and the careers covered.
Feedback from this event identifies a positive impact and introduction to healthcare careers on the 184 participants, with many describing the event as “informative, exciting and interesting”. Medical Mavericks are continuing to develop their content, aiming to aid prospective students in making important decisions about their future career paths. Elliott Hudson College have signed up to the Medical Mavericks Academy, a yearly subscription starting in February which allows students access to virtual work experience and courses in a range of healthcare professions. We hope this will offer our students an in-depth insight into an exciting range of medical career paths and progression routes, informing their understanding of roles within the industry and increasing their confidence, skills and knowledge to benefit them as they transition in to higher education.
As my chosen underrepresented group are females in STEM subjects, I’m hoping events organised with Medical Mavericks and the Academy will aid my underrepresented group in learning the tools to progress into STEM careers, perhaps some of which they hadn’t previously considered. I will aim to evaluate the impact of the Academy through my own reflective journal, and by conducting interviews and case studies with individual students. I will aim to capture honest reflections of the work experience and courses they’ve undertaken throughout this academic year, to understand whether the experience has enhanced their career prospects and informed their decision making about potential future pathways.
Participants completed post-event evaluations using the Tool D template, describing the event as “engaging, educational, fun and useful”. The majority of participants stated that GHWY should continue to provide Medical Mavericks events in the future by stating they “provided a valuable experience” (73%) or are “Okay and worth trying again” (32%). When asked about other subjects and activities GHWY could provide, 90% of students selected they would like more “Careers Information” or “Courses/pathways information”, with 14% suggesting “Socialising and confidence building” or “Support with studies” would be beneficial. I’m confident the Medical Mavericks Academy, alongside other targeted support provided by myself and the Elliott Hudson Careers Team, will contribute towards fulfilling the needs that were outlined in the post-event evaluations. Each work experience opportunity embeds interactive tasks and a course to complete, along with information on qualifications and progression routes into the specific careers covered. I am hopeful that these virtual work experiences will increase confidence and enable students to develop valuable skills and attributes that are sought after in the healthcare industry, providing a useful alternative to in-person work experience that is not currently possible due to COVID-19.
Amy Baulcombe, Higher Education Progression Officer at Elliott Hudson College