Apprenticeships at Brighton

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How the Assistant Practitioner Higher Apprenticeship opens doors for graduates

“I loved my apprenticeship and really enjoyed university.”

Nichola Raymond joined the first cohort of Assistant Practitioners in healthcare on the higher apprenticeship at the University of Brighton, graduating in January this year.

Since completing her apprenticeship, Nichola has moved into a new role with more responsibility. Cathy from the apprenticeships caught up with Nichola to find out how her apprenticeship enabled her to take the next step in her career, and what comes next. Read the full interview below. 

How long have you been working with your current employer? 

I’ve worked for Woodlands Clerklands Partnership in a GP surgery for five years now, prior to this, I worked in a General Hospital for four years. 

What is your job title and what does the role involve? 

My job title is now Assistant Practitioner and the role at my practice is split between clinical and administrative work. Clinically, I see patients booked in for appointments for the management of long-term health conditions, phlebotomy, diagnostic spirometry tests, electrocardiographic tests (ECGs), and injections for flu, pneumonia, shingles and B12. On the administrative side, I’m responsible for ordering stock for the surgery, ensuring we have enough sterile equipment for procedures, calibration of equipment, and recently I’ve taken the admin lead on setting up a point of care International Normalised Ration (INR) service for our patients. 

What responsibilities and opportunities have become available to you since your apprenticeship? 

 Since I have finished my apprenticeship, I’ve added more clinical skills to my role, which I’ll be able to start practising soon – this would not have been possible in my previous role of Healthcare Assistant. My apprenticeship has also enabled me to take on admin lead in the new INR service. 

 Is there anything you’d like to say to someone who is considering starting the apprenticeship programme? 

 The apprenticeship has been an opportunity to increase my skills, which has made me a more useful employee, enhanced my clinical knowledge, and in turn- increased my confidence. We had a skills gap in our surgery which I’ve now been able to bridge, and with career progression further up the line at work there will be another gap which I can help fill. Currently, I’m in the process of applying for the Registered Nurse Degree Apprenticeship, which wouldn’t have been an option to me before, nor would I have had the confidence to apply. I loved my apprenticeship and really enjoyed attending university. 

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Catherine Johnson • 18/12/2020

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