T Level Nursing students at Bridgwater & Taunton College have started valuable work experience placements at Musgrove Park Hospital. 

A total of 18 T Level Health (Nursing) students have received the opportunity to undertake work experience at the county town's hospital due to its partnership with the college. 

The nursing course is one of several new T Level qualifications available at Bridgwater & Taunton College (BTC). 

T Levels are two-year courses equivalent to three A Levels. 

They have been developed with employers to give students a combination of core skills, occupational knowledge, and sector expertise to take into the workplace when they leave college. 

Industry placements form a key part of T Level programmes, and they enable students to apply what they have learnt in the classroom in real-world settings and develop workplace skills. 

T Level Health (Nursing) students at BTC will complete at least 315 hours on placement in order to achieve their qualifications.

They will spend most of those hours at Musgrove Park Hospital, but they will also gain experience in a health and social care setting. 

During their placements, the nursing students will spend time on surgical and medical wards, at community hospitals, and in a private healthcare wing. 

Somerset County Gazette: TRAINING: BTC nursing students on a T Level course attend their placements at Musgrove Park HospitalTRAINING: BTC nursing students on a T Level course attend their placements at Musgrove Park Hospital

They will be supervised by members of staff as they undertake a range of tasks, including taking physiological measurements, supporting the completion of care plans, and writing risk assessments.

Ellie Groves, a T Level Health (Nursing) student at BTC, says her nerves were "short-lived" ahead of her placement on a ward with reassuring and "really nice" staff. 

She said: "The placement was organised, and I was met outside by a member of staff.  

"Throughout the day I was placed on a bay with six patients and I supported them with their day-to-day care.

"I was involved in taking patient observations and completing patient records.  

"I worked alongside my mentor all day.  

"I am really looking forward to going back for my next shift."

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Course leader Mel Leavy said: "Musgrove Park Hospital already works closely with BTC on apprenticeships, so we’re delighted that they want to work with us on the new T Level too. 

"Like us, Musgrove Park Hospital recognises that T Levels are an excellent feeder into their workforce because work placements form such a core element of the qualification. 

"The T Level in health is an excellent pathway into higher qualifications, such as our adult nursing degrees and degree apprenticeship programmes, all available at BTC or the University Centre Somerset, so there are excellent progression routes available for those who want to pursue a career in this essential and rewarding sector."

Dan Hoare, careers and workforce development lead at NHS Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, said: "We want to build a talent pipeline for the future.

"Each year, another group of 16- to 19-year-olds enrols on a T Level programme who have a passion for helping people, a passion for care, and the desire to improve health and wellbeing.

"It is my opinion that there is no better way for us to find and forge long-standing relationships with these individuals than by offering a substantial range of industry placements.

"Through this, we hope to give students the skills and knowledge they need to flourish in their chosen future NHS career and play their part in delivering outstanding patient care on behalf of the trust and NHS."

BTC offers a range of T Levels in subjects including Health (Nursing), Digital, Education & Childcare, Finance, Accounting, On-site Construction, and Engineering.

For more information, visit www.btc.ac.uk/find-a-course/school-leavers/t-levels/ or attend the college's January open event.

For information about Higher Education Nursing and Health and Care courses, visit www.somerset.ac.uk/courses/.  

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