My name is Peter Connelly and I have recently started a Healthcare Science apprenticeship at Leeds Teaching Hospitals, specialising in clinical engineering; before I applied for this post I was studying Sports Therapy at Leeds Beckett University.
I moved to Leeds from Manchester in 2018 to enrol at University and continued with the course until 2020 where I then found this apprenticeship on the NHS website and decided it was more suited for me and so applied.
After sending off my application I was shortlisted and received an invited to the first stage of the recruitment process that was an assessment day. The assessment day was held at St James hospital in Leeds and involved an English, Maths and ICT test; a practical test that involved building an electric circuit and then some brief physics questions. For the next part of the assessment I participated in a team work exercise with the other prospective candidates on the day. After this assessment day I was shortlisted for the second stage of the interview process and was invited back for a more traditional interview. This involved a face to face interview where I was asked questions relevant to the apprenticeship, about my background previous to applying for the post and why I felt I would be suitable for the job. After this stage I got called back and was a little disappointed to be offered a reserve candidate. A little while later I received a call from Chris, one of the managers who interviewed me, he told me that another apprentice post had been made available which he offered me. Following going through the relevant recruitment checks and documentation I started my apprenticeship on the 1st of September 2020.
I have thoroughly enjoyed working within a Healthcare Science / Medical Physics environment, every day involves new experiences with new medical devices and situations, whether it’s working in the workshop or out in clinical areas fixing devices, finding out how they work and how they are used; there has always been something to keep me busy and interested. I was surprised by the amount and variety of equipment that gets worked on and also by how much I have learnt within the short period of time since I started my apprenticeship.
There has already been a wide array of devices that I have been trained on and I am now confident enough to work independently on. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic this year there has been a large amount of ventilators coming in to the hospital which I have been assembling and running performance checks on and commissioning before they are brought into clinical use. I also recently completed a run of twelve month services on the defibrillators around the hospital, ensuring that they are all running correctly, safely and within specification
Working within the clinical engineering teams I have learnt how much of an impact clinical engineers actually have on the patients as we ensure that all the medical devices used to care for our patients are actually working correctly and safely. Whether it is a complex machine such as the Linear Accelerator’s in Radiotherapy Technology Services that are used to treat cancers, or changing the batteries on a Draeger portable Oxylog 3000 life support ventilator, everything we do is essential in order to ensure the best possible care for our patients.
Before starting the apprenticeship I was worried that I would struggle or wouldn’t be able to keep up with the work. This was in part due to the fact that I had no experience of engineering or electrical work; but these worries quickly went away as soon as I started my apprenticeship and working in the medical physics engineering teams, the training and support provided by the team and managers has been great, building up my confidence massively. I am looking forward to continuing and completing the apprenticeship and hopefully secure a full time post. Following completion of the level 4 apprenticeship I hope to progress on to the level 6 Healthcare Science degree apprenticeship that is currently run by the University of the West of England (UWE) in Bristol.
Name: Peter Connelly
Age: 23 years
Apprenticeship: 1st year Level 4 Healthcare Science Diploma Apprentice
Employer: Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
Training Provider: Dudley College / Avensys Medical