Meet one of our final year Podiatry Degree Apprentices
Natasha Bassett is a final year apprentice on our Podiatry Degree Apprenticeship working for East Sussex NHS Healthcare Trust. She chats about her decision to do the programme and how the apprenticeship has been applied directly to her workplace.
“I started as a footcare assistant and absolutely loved the job from the first week. As I had a young son, I felt I was unable to stop working to do the full-time university degree as I wouldn’t have been able to support my family financially. The opportunity of the apprenticeship route has been completely life-changing, it has meant that I have been able to study in a career that I love, and I can still provide for my family. The apprenticeship has also really helped with my clinical education because I have gained much more work experience than if I had studied through a traditional full-time route.
“As I am a very hands-on learner, this was perfect for me. The team I work with are the most caring and supportive team that I have ever had the privilege of working with, their support over the last few years has been invaluable and has made this experience the best decision I have ever made.
“The thing with podiatry is that I find all specialties of it interesting, so picking a specific career goal is hard. I have a particular passion for wound care, so I would like to be a wound care specialist, possibly leading to surgery in the distant future. At one point, I was even considering forensic podiatry. However, I currently have found a real passion for vascular podiatry and promoting that we should be assessing and providing early diagnoses and intervening at the earliest point for vascular diseases. As podiatrists, we are in the position to contribute to the NHS 10-year plan and help improve longevity and quality of life for our patients. If I can have an impact on promoting thorough vascular examinations to my peers, that will feel like a success.
“I have taken on every opportunity that has come my way throughout this apprenticeship. For the first two years of the programme, I was Course Representative. Now I am in my final year, I sit on the Florence Nightingale Foundation student council where I have been placed on the most phenomenal leadership course. I feel truly grateful for the impact that the Florence Nightingale Foundation have had on my confidence and my ability to grow as a professional.
“Everything I have learned since starting the apprenticeship has applied to my job. As I had been working as a footcare assistant before starting, I had some basic background knowledge but the apprenticeship course has really helped me understand what I am doing and why. I love learning and being able to expand my knowledge in an area that I love has been fantastic.
“The benefit to the employer is that they have the opportunity to help their staff develop into professionals and gain dedicated employees. Personally, I am so grateful to East Sussex NHS Healthcare Trust for this opportunity.
“If you know what career you want and there is an opportunity to do an apprenticeship, simply do it! Though it is fundamental that you have good time management skills, it provides the perfect work/ life balance, and ending up with a qualification and a career that you love – Go for it!”