The young people taking over Great Ormond Street Hospital

This week, a handful of young people are picking up the reins at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), trying out jobs in healthcare during Takeover Challenge 2017.

Over the next five days, young people will experience first-hand what life as a Floor Manager, Arts Officer or a scientist Is like – finding out what makes GOSH tick in the process.

Walking the walk

“If you’re not a keen walker, don’t even think of becoming a Floor Manager,” says Michael Glynn.

He walks up to 29,000 steps (13.7 miles) a day! As well as having good stamina, he says a Floor Manager must be customer-focused and have a nice smile.

The Floor Manager is the formal link between clinical and non-clinical work in the hospital. “We are the people who unblock issues,” says Michael.

Michael (pictured above) has worked at GOSH for six years and is responsible for everything from room ventilation to patient flow and making sure the medical equipment works.

For Michael, Takeover Challenge is really important. “It shows young people an opening into industries, that they never get offered, it’s not like going into an office or the post room. It actually gives a grounding into the NHS.”

Ethan who has found himself shadowing Michael during Takeover Challenge will be assured of a busy time. “It will be like doing ward rounds. We will look at the cleanliness of the environment, do maintenance spot checks, see how our kids are fed and hydrated and work with the housekeepers.” says Michael.

Cutting edge of science

Principal Clinical Scientist in Haematology, Stuart Adams has also loaned out his job for Takeover Challenge this week his work involves extracting DNA and carrying out genetic fingerprinting to help diagnose patients with diseases of the blood.

Stuart, who once played in the same football team as David Beckham (“No, not Manchester United!” he says) is looking forward to hosting Takeover Day because it’s a good learning opportunity for him! “Young people have refreshing ideas and new ways of looking at things,” he says.

Scientists are often hidden in the background says Stuart, and Takeover Challenge is a great opportunity for them to meet patients and vice versa.

Costa who was a patient at GOSH for 19 years and now volunteers at the hospital, can't wait to takeover from Stuart in Haematology. “Getting involved is a fantastic opportunity to to see how the hospital runs.

“Having had bone marrow transplants in the past, I'm fascinated to be working in the labs. I hope to learn more about what the scientists do, see how cells / DNA are used and to meet some of the staff that have worked with Bone Marrow.”

The next generation

GOSH is always looking for the next generation of scientists, and this week is a great opportunity to see what talent is out there. “We need those children to see what we do and decide this is what they want to do when they grow up. If we don’t get children thinking that now, who’s going to make the next big discovery?”

Art at the heart

Caroline Moore at choir

Caroline Moore (pictured above as part of GOSH choir), Arts Officer at GOSH Arts – the arts programme at Great Ormond Street Hospital – manages the hospital’s creative research projects and artist residences. She says Takeover Challenge is a brilliant opportunity to show young people the many different ways arts can be used in the work place.

“When I was a young person and I said I wanted to be an artist. People would say, ‘No that’s not a career.’ But, actually there are so many ways to use the skills I developed at school and university professionally”

This week a young person will be partnered with one of the GOSH Arts resident artists who will help them develop and run a workshop in outpatients! They will also be taking over the GOSH Arts social media updating everybody on what they have been up to during the Takeover Challenge with GOSH Arts.

As to what she’s most excited to take from Takeover Challenge Caroline says, “Young people always have new and different perspectives and ideas about our programme to those I have, they’re coming at it with fresh eyes, and that’s really exciting!

Caroline Moore says more than anything, Takeover Challenge is great fun. “We actually surrender all control to the young person for the day. We’ll help them if they need it, but we’re not going to stop them from trying things out – it’s their show.”