Caitlin Barber, 18, is currently studying an Apprenticeship in Health Care support as part of the Nurse Graduate Scheme with the NHS Sustainable Transformation Partnership.
Q. Why did you choose an apprenticeship?
A. I chose an apprenticeship because I wanted to gain experience in a real workplace environment. Plus because I want to ultimately become a Nurse, this is one of the only other options instead of going to university which I really didn’t want to do. I’m not very confident with exams and as the apprenticeship is mainly course based to begin with, I can work on exam skills before I progress onto my Higher Apprenticeship.
Q. What does your typical day in the workplace include?
A. My typical day includes conducting patient health checks in my own clinic which I have been trained to do. Health checks can include anything from taking blood pressures and reading results to testing urine to check for any abnormalities. Afterwards, I usually complete a stock check for the health carers and the nurses to support them in their jobs. Towards the end of the day, i’d spend some time in the office, calling patients to arrange appointment dates and times and letting them know the outcome of their test results. It’s a really varied job and that’s the main thing I love about working here.
Q. What skills have you developed during your apprenticeship?
A. My communication skills have definitely improved. By actually doing the job rather than just learning about it in the classroom, it enables me to communicate with patients and colleagues effectively as I know exactly what to talk about. I’ve also developed my time management skills to ensure I’m sticking to appointment times.
Q. What is you college/work life balance like?
A. I think I’ve mastered juggling the two to be honest! I’m in the workplace Monday to Thursday and on Friday I go to college to complete my coursework. Spending one day at college is just enough in my opinion, it’s an intense day where the assessors cover off quite a few things, but it’s definitely worth it as the theory they provide underpins the practical skills I am gaining and constantly developing in the workplace.
Q. How did you choose what apprenticeship programme you wanted to study?
A. To be honest, working as a Nurse has always been a dream of mine and it was pretty easy choosing this route over going to college and university. The College really supported me in making this dream come true as they arranged for me to meet with staff from Haymarket Health Centre who were looking for apprentices. I got to ask as many questions as I’d like which helped put my mind at ease. Everyone learns differently, but it really was the best choice for me and for my future.
Q. How did you feel when you were offered the work placement at Haymarket Health Centre?
A. I was chuffed to bits. I was really happy as it was such an amazing opportunity as it was the start of something new, exciting and ultimately my dream career. I just knew I was going to gain so much experience and every day I come to work happy and looking forward to meeting new people and experiencing new things.
Q. What would you say to somebody thinking about studying an apprenticeship?
A. Do it! Make sure you explore all of the options available to you and to do your research into the varying subjects and roles available. I’ve met so many people that I look up to, my colleagues are also my friends which is a great feeling and makes a massive difference when you’re in the workplace four or five days a week. I couldn’t recommend an apprenticeship programme more.