Year 10 school pupils from across Rhondda Cynon Taf and Merthyr Tydfil were given an insight into working for the NHS in Cwm Taf.
Staff from a range of professional disciplines, in hospitals, mental health and primary care services explained their roles and responsibilities during a week of visits by the 20-strong group.
The students, who had shown an interest in healthcare, were selected from Treorchy Comprehensive School; Bryn Celynnog Comprehensive School, Pontypridd High School; Tonypandy Community College; Afon Taf High School and Porth County Community School.
They spent two days at the Royal Glamorgan hospital in Llantrisant where they were met by staff in areas including learning and development, resuscitation, podiatry, clinical engineering, catering, and housekeeping.
At Ysbyty George Thomas, they learned about mental health and the work of occupational therapists to improve the lives of people who have dementia.
Two days at Ysbyty Cwm Rhondda involved staff from primary care, dentistry, general practice, district nurses and nursing, pharmacies, medical records, audiology, the plaster room, minor injuries and radiology.
The visits followed a successful pilot for the Year 10 healthcare taster programme last year.
A further programme is now planned for July, this time at Prince Charles Hospital, Merthyr Tydfil, Keir Hardie Health Park and Ysbyty Cwm Cynon in Mountain Ash.
Claire Williams works as the schools and college liaison, part of the learning and development department at Cwm Taf University Health Board.
She said: “The aim is to introduce interested young people to what working in the NHS is all about.
“Our hope is that the experience will encourage local pupils to consider a career with Cwm Taf in our services in the future.
“We are grateful to our enthusiastic staff who are happy to act as ambassadors for their part of the NHS and explain their journey in work to the young people involved.”
The work has been recognised in Cwm Taf’s platinum award for Corporate Social Responsibility.
Schools interested in being part of future programmes can contact [email protected]