It’s been a WHOLE year since I started the NHS Graduate Scheme… I used to read the blogs page when I was preparing to begin the Scheme, and a lot of blogs mentioned that ‘time flies’ but I didn’t appreciate that until I sat down to write this blog – it really does fly!
I thought I would take some time to collect my thoughts and to reflect on some important transitions that I have made in the past year.
Firstly, I moved from beautiful Oxford to smoggy London for the Scheme, and I found this transition super difficult because Oxford is so beautiful, small, and everything is within walking distance. However, I have learned to appreciate the urban beauty of London. I am lucky to have so many things to do and to explore in my spare time. I have learned it is best for me to find green spaces to walk around every now and again to ensure I get some Vitamin D and to enjoy nature, even if it surrounded by buildings!
I also moved even further away from my boyfriend and that has been really challenging, but on the other hand I moved in with some friends that I have known for years. I am also a lot closer to home, and that meant I was able to visit my family often. I have been really appreciative of my support system this year, as I didn’t realise how difficult the transition would be from university to work (and more university). I have relied heavily on my loved ones to give me support – and not to mention the wonderful graduates on my Informatics stream. We currently have a very active WhatsApp group and this has been a really useful tool for me, because I can always rely on them to empathise with me, or to offer me some advice!
As for the work side of things, the scheme has been a huge learning curve. Though I was given a gentle introduction to Informatics at the start of my placement, I recall having a meeting with a Physiotherapist during my orientation that ranted at me about their Electronic Health Record, and asked me to write down some issues they had and to sort them… This included reformatting their current patient questionnaire to suit their needs, and to update their ‘Dashboard’ so that different services could have a different portal they could use to access their patient records. I remember leaving that meeting and treating myself to a doughnut because I was so upset I had no idea what I was meant to do! (It was all sorted out in the end). But, now I know how to do the things they requested of me, and I can now confidently have a meeting with someone and successfully question them in order to get information out of them so I can do what they ask.
I have also learned so much about patient data, data security, anonymity, healthcare records, varying software’s and EHRs, and my data analysis skills have improved massively. I can now use SQL with ease now and write codes in order to extract data from databases. I am trusted with sensitive data, and have been given some responsibility over a few projects in my Trust. I am finally beginning to feel competent in my role, and that I can be relied upon to do my work to a high standard. I am really looking forwards to my 8 week placement at Arcadis as a ‘Trainee Healthcare Consultant’ as this environment will be completely different to my current workplace.
My next blog will be all about my experience at Arcadis… Wish me luck!