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Our latest summer placements – “Once in a lifetime opportunity”

It’s been a busy summer here at the SMF, so we thought we’d share an insight into the experiences of two students – one from our Medicine sector and one from our Biology & Chemistry sector – who both secured hospital placements with the Central Manchester University Hospitals via the SMF.

Billy, a Year 12 student in our Medicine sector, spent a week in the Heart Centre and this is what he had to say about his experience:

“I had the opportunity to work with the Cardiac Physiologists, to observe and have a go at taking ECGs, and to use the other devices used to monitor heart conditions”. Billy’s experience didn’t stop there, as he also got to observe procedures such as Angiograms, Angioplasty, and Pacemaker implantations.

This on the ground experience is invaluable to students as they begin their UCAS applications and writing their personal statements, and provides all-important insight and discussion points for their university interviews. On this, Billy said meeting the cardiologists gave him the “chance to ask relevant questions about the medical profession [and] made me feel inspired by the teamwork of the doctors and physiologists”.

Raghda, a student in our Biology & Chemistry sector, spent an equally valuable week in the Pharmacy department shadowing a Pharmacist, where she was able to order medication and learn how to use the BNF pharmaceutical reference book to identify possible drug side effects. Under supervision, Raghda experienced making and dispensing medication such as the antibiotic Amoxicillin, and distributing medicine to hospital wards.

Raghda identified key skills that her placement helped her to develop, such as her confidence and communication skills, as she interacted with the enormous breadth of staff members across the Pharmacy department, and the hospital more widely.

Raghda  plans to become a hospital Pharmacist, a decision, she says, that her placement has reinforced by showing her a more clinical side to the field, and providing “a valuable perspective on the challenges of this profession… it increased my insight in to the field and helped me gain a clear understanding of what the career involves”.

We could not ask for a better outcome for our students than this, and on behalf of Billy and Raghda send our thanks to all of the hospital staff who made their placements possible.

If you would like to get involved with the work of the SMF, or could offer one of our students a work placement in one of our 11 sectors, we’d love to hear from you. Contact Emily and Sam on

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