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Thursday 7 March 2019

Nursing apprentice, Tracy, started her apprenticeship much later in life; she shares her story

This week is National Apprenticeship Week and throughout the week we have been meeting some of our hard working apprentices.

Today, we talk with Tracy Hatch, a Healthcare Assistant at St Luke’s Surgery studying the BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing Practice.

Tracy, 49, is the oldest on her course – she tells us how it had been her dream to become a Practice Nurse but she thought it was too late…

Tracy, why did you decide to do an apprenticeship?

​I'm currently working as a Healthcare Assistant and this apprenticeship will result in promotion to a Practice Nurse, which is something I have always wanted to do and thought it was too late, due to my age. So I jumped at the chance when the opportunity came up!

Please can you tell us a bit about your role (a typical day at work) and how your studies fit into this?

I work a 30 hour week contract. While on placement I do 22.5 hours a week and 7.5 hours at the University a week. The same hours apply when not on placement but 22.5 hours work and 7.5 hours at university.  Placement is approximately 24 weeks a year and work 28 weeks per year, although I have to take annual leave while on working hours. This means I am only at work for approximately 22 weeks per year.

At work I take blood, give injections, wound care and compression, ECG, ear irrigation and health advice.  I have found that the knowledge I already have has helped me at university and has given me the confidence to learn more.

Nursing student, Tracy

What are your future career goals?

I would like to stay working where I am as a Practice Nurse. My role will need to include children immunisations, cervical screening and chronic disease to my current job role.

How are you finding the work/life/study balance so far?

So far, I am juggling work, placement and studies ok - I do seem to have enough spare time to revise or undertake homework. The balance of work, study and general day to day life is also ok, I still have time for family days out.

How do you get the work/life balance right?

I try to do any homework and studies while my husband and children are at work and school, or in the evenings to free up weekends.

Would you recommend this apprenticeship route to others?

I w​ould really recommend this course to others. I am in my late forties and the oldest apprentice student on the course, who left school with a handful of GCSEs. If I can do it, anyone can. I am really enjoying it and have not regretted a moment of this course.  Great tutors, lecturers and lots of support too.