Everything you need to know about hospital rotations

What are hospital rotations and what does it mean for doctors looking for work? Here’s everything you need to know about how Pulse can support you. 

Hospital rotations, the changeover periods where trainee doctors first move into paid work, bring opportunities for medical professionals at all levels. Read on to get all the information you need about when they commence, the required qualifications and how agency work can support your growing career in healthcare.

What are hospital rotations?

  • They refer to the placements which provide medical students with real-world training in healthcare settings, during their foundation programme
  • Rotations take place during your first two years of medical training (FY1 and FY2)
  • Each year consists of three placements in different specialities and environments. These can be in medical, surgical, anaesthetics, emergency medicine and women’s and children’s specialities.
  • Rotations are the first opportunities for students to put their training into practice, applying their theory to practical patient care
  • During year one (FY1), students will be supervised and continue to participate in learning, with the chance to shadow qualified medical workers
  • In FY2, they can take on more responsibility, under gradually less supervision

When do hospital rotations commence?

  • The start date is usually on the first Wednesday in August, with changeover dates throughout the year
  • In foundation training (FY1 and FY2) changeover is every four months, usually the first Wednesday in August, December and April. Once you commence in speciality training (ST1 and ST2) you will do two 6-month rotations a year.

What qualifications do trainee doctors need for a rotation?

  • An MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery) or equivalent
  • Applicants must undertake a paid shadowing period before their first placement, of at least four days in length
  • During FY1 you will need a General Medical Council (GMC) registration with a provisional licence to practice. Once you progress into FY2 this becomes a full licence to practice You would also need to show that you have the communication skills to work in a professional setting

What do hospital rotations mean for those seeking work?

  • Once placements are filled, they leave gaps for work with a range of medical employers
  • Rotations will have equipped junior doctors with their first spell of professional experience that will attract them to employers, due to:
  • Taking on contract work allows flexibility in shifts and workplace settings, for more variety
  • Locum work gives trainee doctors the ability to balance their time between studying and gaining hands-on experience
  • If you want to want to undertake an FY3 and use this time to take up agency work, you have the opportunity to earn higher pay than you would by continuing with further training
  • Those on an FY3 additionally have the benefits of both extra time and more experience to consider which area of healthcare they’d like to continue training in afterwards
  • A locum worker on an FY3 would also have the time for an all-important break in between several years of studying and further speciality training
  • This break also allows time to travel in between contract work
  • Agency work provides the ideal opportunity to try out different areas of medical specialisms
  • They can also allow those who have been studying to try out something new

Find your next role with Pulse

At Pulse, we can help you work towards the next stage of your medical career and are here to support you every step of the way during hospital rotations. As a market-leading agency, we can offer you our expert advice as you progress and refine your professional goals. Our in-depth market knowledge means we understand the specific requirements, expectations and benefits of your profession and different specialism. We’ve worked with NHS and private healthcare clients since 2008, as a trusted provider of medical professionals for both locum and permanent roles, register today.

Please note that during your FY1, you will not be able to work as a locum doctor with an agency. A Provisional registration with a licence to practise allows doctors to work in approved UK Foundation Year-1 post. It cannot be used for any other purpose. However, you will still be able to register with Pulse so we can start finding you great work opportunities once you progress into FY2 and have your full licence to practice. For more information on this, our team will be happy to help. 

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