What are graduates doing whilst applying for medicine? Watch

Captain127
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Hi guys, I graduated and applied for medicine but I messed up my UKCAT sadly so I don't have any confidence in any offers this application cycle. I was just wondering what are graduates doing in the mean time? I'm working part time at my dads at weekend and volunteer a few hours and was planning to apply for a job. Was wondering what graduates or school leavers have been doing whilst out of school/uni and applying for medicine? And I'm not sure if it is bad to be applying to medicine and if for example your full time/graduate job might be looked down upon when you could have gotten (well tried) for a job in a healthcare setting?

Thanks and I really appreciate for any replies!
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topgear1987
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I would suggest keep applying for work experience as it'd always good to have - though not a definite if you have sufficient amount. My advice would be to get a job and work your ass off - as a graduate you won't be entitled to a tuition fee loan and take it from me you will be grateful to return to uni with some cash in the bank.

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*pitseleh*
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I worked as a HCA both before and during my first degree, then went straight into Medicine the same year I graduated. I'd definitely go for something in a health care setting (like HCA work) - it taught me a lot, and seemed to go down very well with interviewers.
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neuronerd
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I second what the others have said with HCA work. Although, I'll add a couple of others which you can apply for an look great (but some are a bit harder to get as they are only advertised infrequently):

HealthCare assistant
Clinical Support Worker (mental health)
Phlebotomist (vampires I cannot recommend this enough. So much fun!)
Therapy assistant (both physio and occupational are available)
Emergency care assistant (go out in ambulances)


These are all generally band 2 roles so the pay is peanuts but you will learn so much more than you expect! I for one went into my CSW role thinking I was just doing it to tick boxes and learnt a lot about communication and working in a healthcare team. However, I did get a bit bored after 4-5 months so went into phlebotomy after 6 months to keep the learning new things and prevent me from losing my mind with boredom. If I was able to I would love to go into an emergency care assistant role but I'm physically impaired for the next year or so after an accident so have to do desk work until I (hopefully) start uni now.

Good luck!
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JenniB22
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The job you do has no effect on offers. I spent two years working in IT recruitment while I got my application ready. I got 4 interviews and 3 offers (didn't attend my final interview) so it clearly wasn't an issue. As long as you have enough work experience/ shadowing/volunteering it doesn't matter what you do for work. Plus hca work isn't necessarily the best paid, and you will need some savings to get through gem.


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Captain127
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Okay thanks everyone! I was worried if they ask why you have chosen a job outside of HCA but I guess it wont be a problem and transferable skills! I'll have a look about, thanks for taking the time to reply
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Marathi
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(Original post by neuronerd)
I second what the others have said with HCA work. Although, I'll add a couple of others which you can apply for an look great (but some are a bit harder to get as they are only advertised infrequently):

HealthCare assistant
Clinical Support Worker (mental health)
Phlebotomist (vampires I cannot recommend this enough. So much fun!)
Therapy assistant (both physio and occupational are available)
Emergency care assistant (go out in ambulances)


These are all generally band 2 roles so the pay is peanuts but you will learn so much more than you expect! I for one went into my CSW role thinking I was just doing it to tick boxes and learnt a lot about communication and working in a healthcare team. However, I did get a bit bored after 4-5 months so went into phlebotomy after 6 months to keep the learning new things and prevent me from losing my mind with boredom. If I was able to I would love to go into an emergency care assistant role but I'm physically impaired for the next year or so after an accident so have to do desk work until I (hopefully) start uni now.

Good luck!
Have you worked as a HCA? If so how did you find being a phlebo compared? Did phleb work not get a bit boring after a while or is there more to it than meets the eye?
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neuronerd
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I was a CSW (so a HCA in mental health), didn't fancy being a general health HCA on the ground of poop and vomit! I loved being a phleb, you really get a feel for working with patients, esp on the wards. You interact with the doctors and learn about the tests and what they mean. I love working the paeds wards, some patients are in long term and you really get to know them and be part of their journey. One little boy moving from the wards to outpatients led to the whole team gathering to cheer him on as he walked into the clinic. You get to see people who are scared, going through hell or recovering and offer a bit of comfort. Also I hate to sound weird but taking blood is fun, esp when you get difficult cases and get them first time.

I miss it, am gutted to move into a desk based role and leave it behind. But hopefully, I've got the rest of my career to enjoy once my hips get fixed next year


(Original post by Marathi)
Have you worked as a HCA? If so how did you find being a phlebo compared? Did phleb work not get a bit boring after a while or is there more to it than meets the eye?
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Marathi
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(Original post by neuronerd)
I was a CSW (so a HCA in mental health), didn't fancy being a general health HCA on the ground of poop and vomit! I loved being a phleb, you really get a feel for working with patients, esp on the wards. You interact with the doctors and learn about the tests and what they mean. I love working the paeds wards, some patients are in long term and you really get to know them and be part of their journey. One little boy moving from the wards to outpatients led to the whole team gathering to cheer him on as he walked into the clinic. You get to see people who are scared, going through hell or recovering and offer a bit of comfort. Also I hate to sound weird but taking blood is fun, esp when you get difficult cases and get them first time.

I miss it, am gutted to move into a desk based role and leave it behind. But hopefully, I've got the rest of my career to enjoy once my hips get fixed next year
Sounds good. That's one of the downsides of being a HCA on a ward is that there is rather minimal doctor interaction. Unless you work in some sort of clinic or doing admissions.

I enjoy the variety on my ward (SAU) but it might be closing soon and don't really fancy any of the proposed options too much. So I may consider looking into the phleb role.
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neuronerd
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(Original post by Marathi)
Sounds good. That's one of the downsides of being a HCA on a ward is that there is rather minimal doctor interaction. Unless you work in some sort of clinic or doing admissions.

I enjoy the variety on my ward (SAU) but it might be closing soon and don't really fancy any of the proposed options too much. So I may consider looking into the phleb role.
The best bit is the fact that any poop vomit etc and you can just go fetch the HCA and let them deal with it
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Ooompalumpa
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(Original post by neuronerd)
The best bit is the fact that any poop vomit etc and you can just go fetch the HCA and let them deal with it
Hi,

May I ask how you managed to go from a CSW to a phleb??

Thanks!
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neuronerd
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(Original post by Ooompalumpa)
Hi,

May I ask how you managed to go from a CSW to a phleb??

Thanks!
Just apply when jobs come up on nhs jobs as often no experience is required.

Phlebs are only band 2, most big hospitals train you in house as it only takes a few days
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username334839
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(Original post by JenniB22)
The job you do has no effect on offers. I spent two years working in IT recruitment while I got my application ready. I got 4 interviews and 3 offers (didn't attend my final interview) so it clearly wasn't an issue. As long as you have enough work experience/ shadowing/volunteering it doesn't matter what you do for work. Plus hca work isn't necessarily the best paid, and you will need some savings to get through gem.


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May I ask if you did any long term volunteering/work in a healthcare setting whilst working in IT?

I have a very attractive job offer (which I am very grateful for), but Medicine is without doubt my passion. So I am a tiny bit hesitant to accept it if it means I will be disadvantaged compared to those working in a healthcare setting.
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JenniB22
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(Original post by Cravez)
May I ask if you did any long term volunteering/work in a healthcare setting whilst working in IT?

I have a very attractive job offer (which I am very grateful for), but Medicine is without doubt my passion. So I am a tiny bit hesitant to accept it if it means I will be disadvantaged compared to those working in a healthcare setting.
I did St. John ambulance for about 6 months, plus volunteer tutoring for disadvantaged kids. It's not a disadvantage not to work in healthcare as long as you get your experience elsewhere.


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Quilverine
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I'm carrying on as a medical photographer. I do some freelance work to supplement the income and I was doing part time postgrad studies but it became unaffordable. Hoping work will give me some training opportunities.

I would go for the option that gives you financial stability and a chance to save for med school because regular voluntary work in care settings is easy to find and just as valid for experience as paid employment.

It may take a couple of cycles to get your place so make sure you're doing something that you can enjoy and live off of for a couple of years and/or paves the way for a solid backup plan if things don't work out. It's easy to throw everything at a dream but it's better to be pragmatic.
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