To apply this year, you’ll need to go to the National School of Healthcare Science website: http://nshcs.org.uk/stp-recruitment, which has all the information you’ll need about the STP and how it works. Recruitment areas include life sciences, medical physics, clinical engineering and informatics but check the website for specific vacancies. There’s also a list of Open Days on the website – it’s well worth going on one of these visits as you’ll find out more about the STP and what it’s like.
A couple of weeks ago, the Careers Service arranged for current NHS STP trainees and a recruiting manager, based at the Sheffield Children's Hospital, to come on to campus and tell us all about their experiences of the STP. The trainees worked in different specialisms but all agreed that knowing their work had potentially enhanced someone’s life made their job extremely worthwhile, even if some didn’t get to spend as much time in the lab as they had envisaged, given the managerial and strategic nature of the role.
One of the interesting stats we heard was that, last year, there were over 8,000 applicants for 260 places, giving each applicant a 1 in 30 chance of getting a place. Given the tough competition, I thought it was worthwhile sharing five top tips for application with you, courtesy of our panel of STP trainees:
1) Get experience. It is notoriously difficult to get NHS experience so look at other ways to develop relevant skills, for example the SURE scheme or a relevant PG course.
2) Get a life. The STP is all about using your transferable skills, from teamwork and leadership through to creative problem-solving and communication skills. You can get these from your hobbies, part-time job or volunteering (which can be especially valuable if you work with patient groups).
3) Talk to current scientists and get a feel for how the NHS works and its values. Another reason why attending an Open Day is a good idea! If not, try contacting your local NHS department to see if you can visit or shadow a scientist. For the latest news, read the Health Service Journal headlines for free online http://www.hsj.co.uk.
4) Know why you really want to be an NHS healthcare scientist. Carefully read the NHS Careers website www.nhscareers.nhs.uk/stp and job descriptions. Is this for you? Why?
5) Practice numerical and logical reasoning aptitude tests. For extra help: www.shef.ac.uk/careers/students/gettingajob/psychometric
Want to find out more? Read our information sheet: www.careers.dept.shef.ac.uk/pdf/NHS.pdf
Good luck with your application!
Alison (Careers Adviser)