The world’s medicine and healthcare systems over the last year have driven towards a common goal unlike anything we’ve seen in recent history. And, there are very few people who haven’t been inspired by the hard work and commitment of doctors and nurses during the pandemic. Students are no exception, with record figures for Nursing course applications during the January 2020 deadline and the rise in medicine-allied enrolments and applications in 2020 and into 2021. 

But while the next generation of students have been inspired by the pandemic to take up a healthcare profession, what about those already enlisted in medical training during lockdown? 

We asked our panel of over 141,000 students about the reality of studying a vocational and practical course this last year, and here’s what we learnt from last month’s Student Pulse. 

Nine in 10 students who are studying a qualification with practical elements have spent less time doing practical exercises for their qualification. 

The Covid-19 pandemic has made eight in 10 students studying for a vocational subject feel less experienced and qualified. This in turn has left many students feeling under prepared, cheated out of essential training and scared for their future. 

“I feel like it's too late to get back on my feet. I feel hopeless and I don't think I'm going to be able to do it.”

“I have not received even half the amount of training I should have got. I feel robbed.”

With vaccination numbers soaring, there’s light at the end of the tunnel, and normalcy hopefully isn’t too far on the horizon. But it’s particularly important to support your vocational students who are headed towards an intense work environment the minute they graduate. They need to feel prepared, supported and heard, so talk to them. What do they want and need? And what are they getting? Are summer practice sessions a possibility? Inspirational talks and mentoring from alumni already in the field? Feeder hospital recruitment teams offering tangible, sound advice to improve chances of employability? 

After all, if this year has taught us anything, it’s how important our healthcare professionals are. So look after them, nurture them, talk to them. 

Each month our researchers ask our diverse panel of students their thoughts and opinions on the trends and topics we present. Sign up for our newsletter to be among the first to discover our latest student insights and receive any new reports, blogs and event invites.

Article by

Eleana Davidson Native Author

Eleana Davidson

Senior Marketing Executive