Top tips

What career are you interested in? If you are still unsure about what you would like to do, take a look at our A-Z of careers in the NHS, or try our career mapper quiz to see which role best suits your skills and interests. These are just some of over 350 careers available in the NHS. You don’t need to commit to one yet but it will help if you have an idea of what you would like to do in the future when talking to the NHS about your placement. For further inspiration, why not take a look at some of our real life stories?

Many students organise placements through their school or by contacting an NHS organisation themselves, but it can help if you have good contacts. For example, do you or your friends or family know someone who works in the NHS? Does your careers adviser or teacher know someone who could help? Maybe you’ve been treated as a patient and could get back in touch with the healthcare team? Keep as many options open as possible.

If a particular trust can’t help, ask if they know of any NHS organisations in the area that offer work experience. They might even know the name of the person you should speak to.

If contacting the NHS yourself, get a list of NHS organisations near to your home or school. Remember - placements will not necessarily be in hospitals. You may find opportunities in a GP, dental surgery, pharmacy or with an optician. Don’t forget primary care, mental health and ambulance trusts either. For a full list of NHS organisation in your area, visit nhs.uk.

If an NHS organisation you speak to offers work experience opportunities, find out how you need to apply. Is it by letter, an online application or by a form? When can you expect to receive a response to your application?

You might not need a CV but it certainly looks professional if you have one. For tips on writing a CV, visit the National Careers Service website.

Finally, explore our interactive map and get some inspiration from reading stories from other students in your area about the kind of work experiences they have had.