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Wednesday 5 February 2020

During last year’s National Apprenticeship Week, we introduced you to Tracy Hatch, currently a Healthcare Assistant at St Luke’s Surgery studying the BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing Practice. We catch-up with Tracy one year later to find out how her studies are going, and how she embraces being a student in her 50’s.  

Picture of nursing apprentice, Tracy HatchHi Tracy, how have your studies been going over the last year? 

My studies have been going really well with only one missed day of lectures since September 2018.  I still find the time to juggle university, work and have a little bit of fun time with family and friends. I turned 50 a couple of days ago so I am now officially a student in their 50's.  My age concerned me when I started this journey, but I have learnt to embrace it and have spoken to so many nurses who said they graduated in their 50's which has encouraged me to not feel embarrassed about being an older student. 

What have you enjoyed most about the last year of your apprenticeship? 

I really like going on placement.  My first placement I struggled with as I was not too sure what was expected of me and I really did miss work and my colleagues.  Now I am two weeks into my fifth placement and although I still get nervous the day before starting a new one, I have enjoyed them all since the rocky start of placement one.  My confidence of working on hospital wards has grown along with my clinical skills. 

What have the biggest challenges been?  

The biggest challenges for me are still the assignments.  My academic writing is my weakest area and some of my grades are reflecting this, although I have passed everything first time so far.  Positively though my OSCE grades, drugs calculations and A&P exam have all been good.  

I do sometimes have the odd wobble and ask myself why have I done this and there is still another two years to go. If you include the year I went back to college two evening a week to improve my math's and English to even be able to join this course I have been studying for two and a half years now.  I am lucky to have fantastic lecturers I can turn to though if I need any extra support and have made some great friends. I would thoroughly recommend the nursing apprenticeship to anyone of any age. 

What are your plans for the year ahead?  

For the year ahead I hope to improve my academic writing, take on and pass any new challenges that come my way, and start to think about the transition from health care assistant to registered nurse. 

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