What I learnt after spending a week with the Public Health team

Ella Foster spent a week’s work experience with the Public Health team at Telford & Wrekin Council and found out how varied the work can be.

Ella Foster spent a week’s work experience with the Public Health team at Telford & Wrekin Council and found out how varied the work can be.

By Ella Foster – On work experience with the Public Health team

I spent one morning at Sandino Court with Barbara King, one of the Healthy Lifestyle Advisors, carrying out the monthly health checks on the residents. Here, I observed Barbara measuring people’s weight, percentage body fat, blood pressure and BMI and also giving people advice on how to reduce or maintain their weight through their diet and exercise routine.

I found this both interesting and very touching as whilst many people don’t get regular health checks, for the residents at Sandino Court this was not only an accessible health check but some company for 15-20 minutes. As one woman said to me: “I’m glad I came for the natter”.

Healthy Lifestyles health check kit
Healthy Lifestyles kit used for health checks

The following day I visited the Wellington Medical Practice shadowing Tina Brasenell at the Healthy Lifestyle Clinic. I spent the morning in the asthma clinic, in which I got to help out conducting reviews for people and measuring their SATs and pulse rate as well as observing how to measure blood pressure and peak flow.

I enjoyed this experience as I liked getting to talk to people in the community. I learnt that the practice holds monthly sessions relating to different topics, including COPD, sexual health and women’s health.

The afternoon was spent shadowing clinic sessions. These sessions involve helping people to change their behaviour in order to improve their lifestyle. I was unaware of such services until my work experience placement and hadn’t experienced how they work. I thought it was interesting that the session was led by the person seeking help from the service. Even in the short space of time you could see the change in people’s mood and behaviour.

I also attended the Crucial Crew event at Telford College on Thursday. This is an event for children in year 6 to attend with their school, take part in workshops, and receive talks from services on topics such as fire safety, water safety and internet safety.

Having not had the opportunity to attend this event as a child, I enjoyed being there and could see how important the event is. As a young adult I know about the jump between primary school and secondary school and can see how essential it is for children to gain this safety knowledge before they attend secondary school. I think children will benefit hugely from Crucial Crew.

And that’s everything I learned about Public Health. I had not realised how wide and varied the work of the Public Health team can be. I thoroughly enjoyed my week, it’s left me with a greater understanding of the careers available to me and how to achieve them.

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