I Want to Work in ......Nursing and Medical Therapies
Fast track courses
There are now a number of fast track Masters courses for graduates lasting two years including 6 in nursing, 15 in occupational health, 8 in speech and language therapy, 15 in physiotherapy and 4 in radiography. There are also 17 in medicine and 4 in dentistry. One in ten doctors now qualify via fast track courses. Fees are usually paid and you may be eligible for a government bursary as well. The courses are very intensive and competition can be high for places on some courses especially those for medicine and dentistry.
To find details of universities approved to run shortened/accelerated health-related courses: use the course finder tool www.nhscareers.nhs.uk/details/coursefinder/FindCourse.aspx
Bursaries and tuition fees: updated 18th July 2011
The review of the NHS bursary scheme, which provides financial support to students undertaking eligible healthcare courses has concluded that, in the future, eligible students will all have access to the same package of financial support from September 2012 irrespective of their course.
The new package of support will provide new students with a small non-means tested grant, a means tested bursary and a reduced rate non-means-tested loan. The loan will be provided by Student Finance England. As with the current scheme, different rates of means tested bursary and loan will apply according to where a student lives and studies, whether in London, outside of London, or with their parents.
This means that a healthcare student on an eligible course of 45 weeks in duration and studying outside London could receive a non-means tested grant of £1,000, a means tested bursary of up to £4,395 and a non-means tested loan of up to £2,324.
It is planned that these changes will take effect from September 2012. Any changes which are made will apply only to new students who begin their training on or after the date on which the changes come into effect. Existing students will remain on the current scheme.
The NHS bursary scheme pays a bursary, for eligible students on approved courses leading to registration in: undergraduate Audiology, Dental hygiene, Dental therapy, Diagnostic radiography, Dietetics, Midwifery, Nursing (all four branches), Occupational therapy, Operating department practice, Orthoptics, Orthotics/prosthetics, Physiotherapy, Podiatry, Speech and language therapy and Therapeutic Radiography.
Financial support is also available to eligible students on shortened/fast track graduate-entry courses leading to registration in: Diagnostic radiography, Dietetics, Nursing (all four branches), Occupational therapy, Physiotherapy, Speech and language therapy and Therapeutic radiography.
You have to be "eligible" and on an NHS-funded course to be able to get financial help from the NHS. For more information about the financial support available from the NHS, go to www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/3444.aspx
This is a new role in hospitals. Physician assistants support doctors in the diagnosis and management of patients. They are trained to perform a number of roles including: taking medical histories; performing examinations; diagnosing illnesses and analysing test results. They work under the direct supervision of a doctor. You usually need a science orientated first degree to get onto a training programme: these include Hertfordshire, Birmingham, and St George’s. See www.nhscareers.nhs.uk/details/Default.aspx?Id=1964
- Health Sector Briefing www.prospects.ac.uk/links/healthsb
- Health Professions Council www.hpc-uk.org The body with responsibility for registering and regulating health professionals.
- NHS Student Bursaries website www.nhsstudentgrants.co.uk Information about financial help for healthcare students
- NHS Careers www.nhscareers.nhs.uk Gives detailed information on a wide range of NHS careers
- Ambulance Services Association www.asa.uk.net - information on paramedic careers and links to ambulance services.
- www.medrecuk.com online recruitment page that specializes in Doctors, Nurses and Allied Health Professionals.
- NHS Jobs www.jobs.nhs.uk England-wide job vacancy website. More than 500 Trusts currently place vacancies on the site. This is the usual method of application for jobs in the NHS
For information on the following areas please go to:
- Medical Laboratory Scientist
- Health Service Management
- Clinical Research Associate
Belarussian translation of this web page http://onlinepharmacycheck.com/~doc/nursing-kent-ua
PROFILE: Registered General Nurse
INVOLVES: Assessing the needs of patients, planning their care & then carrying it out. Responding to urgent care needs (i.e. tending to wounds etc), getting patients ready for treatment & operation & assisting with tests & examinations.
For detailed information about the different branches of nursing, see the Prospects Occupational Profiles
- Adult Nurse www.prospects.ac.uk/links/ AdultNurse
- Children's Nurse www.prospects.ac.uk/links/ ChildNurse
- Health Visitor www.prospects.ac.uk/links/ HealVisit There is a drive on (2011) to recruit 4,000 new health visitors to the NHS over the next four years. To train as a health visitor you need to be a qualified nurse or midwife.
- Learning Disability Nurse www.prospects.ac.uk/links/ LearnDisNurse
- Mental Health Nurse www.prospects.ac.uk/links/ MenHealNurse
- Midwife www.prospects.ac.uk/links/ Midwife
Accelerated nursing programmes for graduates:
There are some fast track programmes in Nursing for graduates. These programmes generally last two years full time and lead to registration in adult, children's, mental health or learning disabilities nursing. They are designed for graduates with relevant degrees, such as biological science, psychology, sociology or sports science, and have a strong emphasis on learning in the practice environment. Bursaries may be available while you train: see www.nhscareers.nhs.uk/details/Default.aspx?Id=1923
To find details of universities approved to run shortened/accelerated health-related courses: use the course finder tool www.nhscareers.nhs.uk/details/coursefinder/FindCourse.aspx
- University of Essex offers an MSc in Adult Nursing and MSc in Mental Health Nursing in two years of study. Tuition fees are paid in full and you get a £4,000 p.a. non repayable allowance. NHS bursaries are also available. See MSc Adult Nursing and MSc Mental Health Nursing Financial Support: Students on this programme are now eligible for a student allowance of approximately £4000.00 per year, which is payable each term. This allowance is not means tested. See www.essex.ac.uk/hhs
- King's College London www.kcl.ac.uk/schools/nursing-old/becomenurse
- Kingston University www.kingston.ac.uk/nursingdiploma/
- St George's ( University of London ) www.sgul.ac.uk/undergraduate/nursing/nursing
- University of Worcester www.worc.ac.uk/about/news/4806.html
For more information see www.nhscareers.nhs.uk/details/Default.aspx?Id=922
All new entrants to the profession will need to take the degree route from 2013. There has been a rise in the number of applicants for nurse training
There are still shortages of high calibre applicants to become a Health Visitor as many nurses have been put off by the bad publicity from child abuse cases. To become a Health Visitor, a post–registration course must be taken after 2 years nursing experience.
Further Information on Nursing
- NHS Careers www.nhscareers.nhs.uk/nursing
- Nursing Careers: Exploding the Myths about pay, status and career progression www.ca.courses-careers.com/nursing2.htm
- How to Become a Nurse, from the Royal College of Nursing http://www.rcn.org.uk/resources/becomenurse.php
- Nursing Net UK www.nursingnetuk.com – comprehensive courses database, job search and information on nursing abroad
- Nursing Standard magazine www.nursing-standard.co.uk includes course listings and carer-related articles
- Nursing Times - careers pages include news, “career clinics” and training information www.nursingtimes.net/nursingtimes/pages/Careers
- Article on Nursing Opportunities Abroad www.licensedpracticalnurse.org/nursing-abroad focuses on giving nurses and nursing students the tools to find and explore career and volunteer opportunities overseas.
PROFILE: Occupational Therapist
INVOLVES: working with people with disabilities (physical, mental & learning) to enable them to live as independently as possible. This involves: assessing & teaching basic living skills, providing equipment, visiting people's homes, working with groups & individuals, using activities e.g. pottery, drama, cookery to develop others skills. Enabling them to take stock & make changes if they wish, giving direction towards information, new skills, helping agencies, supporting through change.
- The College of Occupational Therapists www.cot.org.uk has produced a careers handbook which includes details of courses in OT. You can download it from www.cot.org.uk/public/otasacareer/intro/intro.php
- Prospects Occupational Profile www.prospects.ac.uk/links/occthera
- For details of the financial support that may be available for OT courses, see www.nhscareers.nhs.uk/details/Default.aspx?Id=1923
- University of Essex offers a BSc Occupational Therapy Tuition fees are paid in full and NHS bursaries are available. See www.essex.ac.uk/hhs
INVOLVES: Examination & assessment of people with disorders of movement. Patient treatment using massage, hydrotherapy & manipulation; multidisciplinary teamwork with doctors, social workers, nurses; supervision of junior staff; clinical education of students. Helping patients return to normal daily life.
- The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy careers pages are at www.csp.org.uk/director/careersandlearning/careersinformation.cfm These pages include a downloadable Guide to Becoming a Chartered Physiotherapist
- Prospects Occupational Profile www.prospects.ac.uk/links/physio
- For details of the financial support that may be available for physiotherapy courses, see www.nhscareers.nhs.uk/details/Default.aspx?Id=1923
Speech & Language Therapy
PROFILE: Speech Therapist
INVOLVES: Diagnoses & treats speech, language, & swallowing disorders in patients. Works with children & adults on a one-to-one basis & in groups to enable them to communicate to the best of their ability.
- Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists www.rcslt.org The website of the Professional Body for Speech and Language Therapists includes a downloadable copy of the booklet, “A Career in Speech and Language Therapy” and a list of recognised courses, including shortened two-year courses for graduates in relevant subjects such as linguistics and psychology.
- Prospects Occupational Profile www.prospects.ac.uk/links/spelanthera
- Canterbury Christ Church University and Greenwich University are introducing a jointly-taught Postgraduate Diploma in Speech & Language Therapy from January 2008 (taught in Chatham ). For details, see www.canterbury.ac.uk/courses/prospectus/postgraduate/courses/SLT.asp
- For details of the financial support that may be available for speech and language therapy courses, see www.nhscareers.nhs.uk/details/Default.aspx?Id=1923
- NHS Careers www.nhscareers.nhs.uk/details/Default.aspx?Id=288
- The Communication Trust www.thecommunicationtrust.org.uk supports children's speech, language and communication skills.
I’'m interested in training to become a speech and language therapist, but how good are the employment prospects?
While there is certainly a need for speech & language therapists, the public spending cuts and reorganisation of the NHS are likely to affect employment prospects in this area.
I have a social sciences degree – will this allow me to be accepted onto a postgraduate course in speech and language therapy?
Although many universities mention social sciences as being a relevant degree background, some subjects in this field, such as psychology, are usually seen as more "relevant" than others – you should check with the universities that offer SLT courses. However, a less “relevant” degree needn't stop you being accepted onto a course. City University, for example, says that "A degree in a relevant subject is an advantage, but candidates are selected on the basis of their motivation, social skills, and appropriate academic abilities, rather than the subject of their degree". However, there is a lot of competition to get onto these courses and you would probably need some relevant work or voluntary experience to help show your motivation and your knowledge of SLT.
The Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists has a useful careers guide at www.rcslt.org/speech_and_language_therapy/careers/career
DieticianMost dieticians work in hospitals or community health services, informing and teaching the public and health professionals about diet and nutrition.
- British Dietetic Association www.bda.uk.com
Prospects Occupational Profile www.prospects.ac.uk/links/Dietician
The title “dietician” is protected and in order to work as a dietician in the NHS you need to have an accredited qualification and be registered with the Health Professions Council.
There are a number of 2 year conversion courses for graduates – see www.bda.uk.com/edpostgrad.html for a list. Normally, applicants for these courses need a degree in a related subject, which contains biochemistry and human physiology. A Kent biomedical science degree should be acceptable.
For details of the financial support that may be available for these courses, see www.nhscareers.nhs.uk/details/Default.aspx?Id=1923
A Kent biosciences graduate successfully obtained a place on the Cardiff dietetics course with an NHS bursary.
Nutritionists work in a variety of organisations, including food companies, retailers, sports and leisure and the NHS (where they work under the supervision of a dietician). As "Nutritionist" is not a protected job title (unlike dietician), in theory anyone can call themselves a nutritionist.
- The Nutrition Society www.nutritionsociety.org site includes a careers leaflet and a listing of postgraduate courses in nutrition
- British Nutrition Foundation www.nutrition.org.uk site includes information on career paths in nutrition & dietetics and the differences between these two areas
- Nutritionists in Industry www.nii.org.uk
Nutritional therapists work with clients to relieve the symptoms of illness (or maintain health) through diet and nutritional support. Their work is usually within private practice and nutritional therapists are often self-employed. While there are a number of courses available in nutritional therapy there is currently no legal regulation or accreditation of these courses, although the Nutritional Therapy Council www.nutritionaltherapycouncil.org.uk can provide details of courses that meet certain agreed standards.
There are two types of radiographer. Diagnostic radiographers employ a range of sophisticated equipment including X-rays and ultrasound to produce high quality images to diagnose an injury or disease. Therapeutic radiographers plan and deliver radiotherapy for the treatment of cancer.
For further information, see:
- Prospects Occupational Profiles www.prospects.ac.uk/links/raddiag and www.prospects.ac.uk/links/radthera
- The Society of Radiographers www.sor.org/public/careerinfo/careers.htm
- Radiography Careers www.radiographycareers.co.uk/
- Canterbury Christ Church University runs a 3 year BSc Diagnostic Radiography course www.canterbury.ac.uk/health/allied-health-professions/courses/Radiography/Home.aspx
- The Society of Radiographers has a full list of courses at www.sor.org/public/students/index.htm . Most courses will require at least one science A-Level or equivalent.
- For details of the financial support that may be available for these courses, see www.nhscareers.nhs.uk/details/Default.aspx?Id=1923
A fully trained audiologist has in-depth knowledge about hearing, acoustics and balance. An audiologist has two main roles, diagnostic and rehabilitative. The diagnostic role involves carrying out a range of tests on children and adults to determine the level and extent of deafness or a balance problem, to enable accurate clinical diagnosis.
The rehabilitative role involves long-term management of people with deafness, balance problems or tinnitus. The audiologist needs to have technical skills and good listening and communication skills.
Hearing therapists assess the needs of patients who have lost their hearing later in life (become deafened), or have tinnitus or balance problems. They give advice on tactics to help with lipreading and hearing and on how to make the best use of hearing aids and environmental aids.
- Prospects Occupational Profile Audiological Scientist www.prospects.ac.uk/links/audiosci
- British Academy of Audiology – careers advice www.baaudiology.org/Other/howtobeanaudiologist.htm
- British Association of Educational Audiologists www.educational-audiologists.org.uk
- The National Deaf Children's Society has produced a careers factsheet covering hearing therapy and audiology www.ndcs.org.uk/document.rm?id=1289
- RNID factsheet on careers with deaf people www.rnid.org.uk/information_resources/factsheets/employment/factsheets_leaflets/careers_with_deaf_people.htm
A one year full-time MSc in Audiology can be undertaken at
- Southampton University www.isvr.soton.ac.uk/audiology/msc_aud.htm
- University College London www.ucl.ac.uk
- Manchester University www.psych-sci.manchester.ac.uk/postgraduate/taught/audiology
Entry requirements are a good relevant science degree [usually 2:1], preferable some knowledge of physics or behavioural science and a proven interest or experience in Audiology. Excellent interpersonal and communication skills and an interest in direct patient care are also essential.
The NHS Clinical Scientists Clearing House Scheme makes awards which cover tuition fees and a bursary. See www.nhsclinicalscientists.info
- Prospects Occupational Profile Art Therapist www.prospects.ac.uk/links/artthera
- British Association of Art Therapists www.baat.org includes careers information and a list of training programmes
- NHS Careers page on art therapy www.nhscareers.nhs.uk/details/Default.aspx?Id=287
- Prospects Occupational Profile Drama Therapist www.prospects.ac.uk/links/dramathera
- British Association of Dramatherapists includes careers information and links to training programmes
- NHS Careers page on drama therapy www.nhscareers.nhs.uk/details/Default.aspx?Id=436
Approved and accredited post-graduate training courses in Dramatherapy in the UK :
PROFILE: Health Education Officer
INVOLVES: Promotes good health by supporting other health professionals such as doctors & nurses in planning, implementing & evaluating health promotion programmes. Provides information, advice & training to the community as well as running health campaigns on specific issues (i.e. smoking, alcohol abuse etc,).
- Prospects Occupational Profile: www.prospects.ac.uk/links/ClinPsych
- BPS – Division of Clinical Psychology www.bps.org.uk/sub-sites$/dcp/dcp_home.cfm?&redirectCount=0
- Clearing House for Postgraduate Courses in Clinical Psychology www.leeds.ac.uk/chpccp
- See our I want to work in Psychology page for further information
Podiatry (foot care: previously known as chiropody)
There seem to be good prospects in this area and graduates may well be eligible for a means tested NHS Bursary when undergoing the training course.
Complete list of approved podiatry courses www.hpc-uk.org/aboutregistration/educationandtraining/approvedcourses_ch/
See Feet for life www.feetforlife.org/careers/index.html for further information
and the podiatrist profile at www.prospects.ac.uk/links/Occupations
PROFILE: Alternative Medicine Practitioner
INVOLVES: Treating illnesses & injuries by means other than pharmaceutical or surgical, such as acupuncture, aromatherapy, osteopathy, chiropractic (see below) and reflexology, generally with the aim of treating the whole person - body, mind & spirit - rather than just the symptoms presented
- Prospects Occupational Profiles www.prospects.ac.uk/links/healcompmed Covers Acupuncturist, Alexander Technique Practitioner, Chiropractor, Herbalist, Homeopath, Naturopath, Osteopath, Reflexologist
- British Complementary Medicine Association www.bcma.co.uk/Publicpage1.htm - links to a wide range of complementary therapies
- Kent & East Sussex Connexions www. kentconnexions .co.uk a guide to complementary therapies in Kent & East Sussex.
- Institute for Complementary Medicine www.i-c-m.org.uk – includes education and careers information
- The Research Council for Complementary Medicine www.rccm.org.uk – includes course listings
- Also see our page on hypnotherapy
Chiropractic treatment involves manipulating the joints, muscles and tendons, to offer pain relief. The profession is growing and experienced Chiropractitioners may earn over £50,000 p.a.
Course fees are normally between 3,000 and £5,000 p.a. If you have already done another degree you may may have to fund yourself. Many chiropractic students will have problems with funding and the above colleges should be able to give you good advice. McTimoney has loans via Nat West bank.
For further information see the Prospects Profile for Chiropractitioner www.prospects.ac.uk/links/chiropract
Last fully updated 2012