Young people urged to consider a career in healthcare

Colin Cruickshank, Elizabeth Ruxton (left) and Kate Sexton are supporting the campaign to encourage young people to consider a career in healthcare.
Colin Cruickshank, Elizabeth Ruxton (left) and Kate Sexton are supporting the campaign to encourage young people to consider a career in healthcare.

Young people working in healthcare are encouraging others to follow their career path.

A new campaign is shining the spotlight on careers in healthcare – highlighting the range of opportunities available and encouraging young people to consider it as a suitable profession.

The Careers in Healthcare ‘What did you do today?’ campaign aims to show that nursing is a stable and valued career for life.

Colin Cruickshank is a 25-year-old student studying BSc Mental Health Nursing. He also works as a part-time nursing assistant in forensic mental health, assisting with the management and treatment of offenders with mental health issues.

Colin decided to study nursing after working as an assistant in forensic mental health. The work inspired him so much that he applied to do a nursing degree to help him progress to a fully registered mental health nurse.

Colin said: “I enjoy caring for people and helping them in their recovery journey from being admitted to discharged. It’s rewarding seeing the difference and positive impact you can have on someone’s life.”

He added: “I would 100 per cent recommend a nursing degree for young people still deciding their future path.

“I would advise either going straight from school or finding experience in a health care setting first.

“Also, research shows there is a shortage of male nurses.

“Although there can be a stigma around men working in this profession, I couldn’t recommend the job more and I’m excited about what the future holds.”

Elizabeth Ruxton (33) is a nurse at Erskine Care Home. She studied a nursing degree and completed several placements alongside her course.

Elizabeth knew she always wanted to be a nurse and believes any young person thinking about nursing should go for it.

She said: “I think working in a care home is so underrated. It’s incredible seeing the positive impact you have on people. For some of them, they have no family and staff are like extended family for them.”

Elizabeth said any young people considering a career in healthcare should go for it – and recommended picking up as much work experience as possible while studying.

She added: “Go for the practical opportunities when studying because that’s where you really learn.”

Kate Sexton (31) is working towards becoming a state-registered healthcare scientist through the Scottish Medical Physics and Clinical Engineering Training Scheme.

She specialises in radiation protection and checks equipment in hospitals to make sure staff and patients are safe when using it.

Kate said: “It’s a really important job and even though you’re behind the scenes, you’re helping so many people.”

She added: “I would encourage anyone going for a job in the NHS. You get trained in the job and they give you the confidence that you need to start in the industry.”

New research indicates two thirds of adults in Scotland view nursing as a positive career choice.

However, the research also indicated that many people are not aware of the variety and prospects a career in nursing can bring.

There’s a huge variety of careers that make a real difference to people’s lives, including nursing, midwifery, healthcare science and the allied health professions such as radiographers, dietitians and paramedics.

Fiona McQueen, chief nursing officer, said: “Deciding what career path to follow can be a bit daunting for young people and we want to open their eyes to the opportunities a career in healthcare can offer. Not only are these careers fascinating and varied career paths, but they are stable and well-respected.

“For any young person out there, deliberating what to do next and looking for a life-changing career, I would highly recommend that they find out more about the opportunities that exist in healthcare and if they like what they discover, then apply for relevant courses at university.”

For those choosing to study nursing or midwifery from 2020, the annual bursary will be increasing to £10,000. The fund has increased in the last year to encourage and support more young people.

You can find out more at Careers in Healthcare