Reflections from Graduates

We spoke to two successful STP graduates who have been qualified for 1+ years and are working as either registered or accredited healthcare scientists in two busy NHS Trusts. We asked them to cast their minds back to their first year selves and consider two questions with the benefit of their hindsight and experiences.

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How to write reflectively

Sally Clee, Education Training Manager, NSHCS. Sally.clee@hee.nhs.uk

Why record your reflections:

“It allows for a continuous relationship with self, where you can write and revisit as you please” (The University of Edinburgh).

Writing down or recording your reflections enables you to:

  1. Take a step back from the situation – acknowledge the emotions but not dwell on them
  2. Revisit your reflections
  3. Be forward thinking and outward looking
  4. Take time to focus on what is important – the key learning from the situation
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How to “ace” the NHS STP application process

Contributers: Martyna Borak and Sophie Reed (OUH Genomics STP trainees)

My story

Hi, I’m Jess and I’m a 1st year NHS STP trainee in Bioinformatics (Genomics) at Oxford. I first heard of the NHS STP through a friend on placement and was intrigued. I heard that it was a degree apprenticeship scheme where you study for a master’s degree at the same time as gaining clinical experience which sounded awesome. After doing more research about the scheme on the National School of Healthcare Science (NSHCS) I decided to apply in 2021 for Genomics but was unsuccessful. This led me to do the typical “panic” master’s (when one does a master’s degree because they do not know what to do or want to change career paths) where I gained more experience about bioinformatics and reapplied in 2022. Other people have also applied multiple times (I know someone who was successful on their 5th try) and some people have done post-docs, but others get in on their 1st time. In this post, I will talk about my applications process and tips.

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STP Support | New Beginnings

First things first – a belated congratulations for gaining a place on this highly competitive training scheme. This is certainly an achievement not to be ignored! You will have had a couple of months acclimatising to the training scheme and your new home. For some of you, this may be the first time you have moved away from home, for others it won’t be, but will still require you to adapt to not only a new job but a new location too. This short post will offer some first-hand tips to aid settling in, now that winter is creeping in and the dark evenings are getting longer.

Let’s take the positives

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STP Specialisms | Andrology

Hi, my name is George and I’m a second year Andrology trainee at the Shropshire and Mid Wales Fertility Centre. Andrology is a relatively new specialism so there aren’t currently many trainees or fully qualified Andrologists, and it may not be as well-known as other specialities, so hopefully I can give a bit of an insight into what the role involves!

What is Andrology?

Andrology is the branch of science relating to male reproductive health, so the clinical scientist role covers working with male patients struggling with infertility, preserving male fertility for those who may become infertile in the future, and dealing with sperm donation, which is a vital resource for those who cannot produce or use their own sperm. It is a varied role, so tasks may be different from day-to-day and different clinics may place difference emphasis on each of the areas within the field depending on their clinical workload.

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STP Specialisms – Embryology

What is Embryology as a clinical field?

Fertility treatment has been an established medical specialism for over four decades, yet many people are unaware of what it entails, and the role clinical and non-clinical staff play. An IVF clinic combines the skill sets of consultants, specialist nurses, and scientists to assist couples trying to conceive. The latter is where I come in. Hi! My name is Laurie-Anne, and I am a second-year Embryology trainee (Reproductive Science) at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust. I’m going to show you what a day in the life of an Embryologist is like and how we contribute to fertility treatment.

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