Work experience with HART is a great opportunity to try out a huge range of things, and gain many skills in a variety of areas. We offer work experience for anything from a week to a year in both our hospital and our shop. Both offer a great chance to add to your CV, from working with animals to retail experience.
Whenever possible, HART has taken on work experience students from colleges like Sparsholt and BCOT, in order to pass on some of the knowledge which has been accumulated, and to help young people gain the skills they need for a career working with animals.
There are currently a few long term placements available for students studying for animal welfare qualifications, please contact us if you would like to apply.
Here is an insight into one student's experience at HART's hospital:
"Hello, I’m Charlotte, a student in my second year at Sparsholt College Hampshire. I’m currently studying a diploma in Animal Management and hope to go on to do Veterinary Nursing or somet hing similar as a degree after a GAP year of work experience.
I was taken into the shed with hedgehogs in and shown a tub, as the tub was opened an increasingly worrying aroma filled the air... I looked at the tub and the label stated ‘FAECAL SAMPLES’.
Within my course I cover a huge variety of different subjects, some of those being practically based, however the majority of my course is theory based which although doesn’t sound as fun and interesting as the hands on practicals, it actually is! We learn so much about so many different aspects of animals and the environments in which they live, from the way they work with biochemistry and microbiology to where they live with Ecology or why they behave the way they do with Animal Behaviour.
Another very important aspect of my course is the work experience that we undertake. June and Bob and everyone at HART Wildlife Hospital kindly let me spend two weeks with them, working along side them learning and taking part with all the hard work that they do.
On my first day I learnt the basics of cleaning out, which at this time of year is mainly hedgehogs! After doing my first box or two I realised how important it was to be thorough, as infection and disease can be so easily spread. A lesson that really did not take me long to learn is; Stand clear of the hose!!! Water proofs or not, that hose is harder to handle than any animal in the hospital! After I had mastered the art of box cleaning (as well as you can on their first day) I was shown how to weigh the hedgehogs, before they are put into their boxes. This I found really interesting as the weight can tell you a lot about the animal and their health. I also learnt how to health check them and record my findings.
Once all the cleaning had been done, in the boxes, sheds and aviaries it was time for a much needed coffee! After finishing that and all the equipment put away it was time to start learning about what goes on in the afternoon.
At first the thought of looking at hedgehog poo under a microscope and looking for all things that wriggle was a bit disgusting, but after my first look into the microscope I immediately found quite the opposite, it was actually really fascinating. After finding and recording samples that have eggs, worms or larvae in them I was shown exactly what’s done about it. Injections! Another subject I found thoroughly interesting. The first few days I just watched how they are done and helped, then after the first week I was allowed to actually do the injections (under supervision), which really interested me as well as educated me.
Also throughout the two weeks I was able go on two rescue missions as well as go along to the vets to see what happens when they need veterinary treatment.
All in all I have had a really great time at HART Wildlife Hospital not only learning valuable techniques and information, but also finding out about the amazing work they do with such limited space. Everybody works really hard and really well together to ensure that all the animals that come in to the hospital get the best treatment and care possible, allowing them to have a better life or even a life at all, which they most probably wouldn’t have had if it weren’t for HART."