Sheffield Hallam receives grant to improve work shadowing in health professions

SHU press release

Sheffield Hallam University has received funding to open more opportunities for students to experience work placements in some of the NHS’s frontline services.

A grant of nearly £50,000 has been awarded to the University by the Office for Students (OfS), as part of their Challenge Fund, part of the Strategic Interventions in Health Education Disciplines (SIHED) programme – which aims primarily to increase the number of students entering and completing small, specialist healthcare courses.

The funding will go towards improving work experience opportunities and pre-admission resources for all prospective students across three disciplines: diagnostic radiography, therapeutic radiography and operating department practice.

Julie Nightingale, professor of diagnostic imaging education, said: “The focus of this funding addresses the problem of prospective students accessing meaningful work experience such as visits to clinical practice to experience the ‘working world’ of a health professional prior to starting on healthcare courses.

“These visits are important to reassure students that they have made an informed career choice. This project focusses on three healthcare disciplines where accessing work experience can be challenging due to the busy ‘frontline’ nature of the departments. Namely diagnostic radiography, therapeutic radiography and operating department practice.”

In total, ten projects across the UK have been awarded a combined £440,000 by the OfS in a nationwide scheme which aims to attract more students to nursing, midwifery and allied healthcare courses – including orthoptics, podiatry, and therapeutic radiography.

This award to Sheffield Hallam follows a previous OfS grant won by the Department of Allied Health Professions to study gender diversity in therapeutic radiography.

Professor Nightingale added: “Nationally, less than a quarter of applicants who wish to study the discipline are male. Having a diverse and balanced workforce benefits everyone; patients and staff alike. We are nearing completion of this project and our findings will increase awareness of the profession and will widen participation by encouraging more males to apply.”

The University is the largest provider of health and social care education in England. With courses covering all aspects of healthcare including: nursing, midwifery, allied health, social care and sport, its curriculum creates the skilled workforce the NHS needs to deliver better long-term health outcomes for the nation.

From ground-breaking research to extensive and pioneering training programmes, Sheffield Hallam University is a national leader in creating innovative solutions that enable healthier lives.

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