Tanith Williams

Assistant Practitioner in Health Apprenticeship – FdSc

Tanith was eager to learn more and progress in the healthcare sector. Studying a degree apprenticeship to become a maternity support assistant practitioner  has helped her to develop her knowledge of the sector, become part of a new community and secure a new role.

“I had already completed apprenticeships and started working in healthcare, but I knew I wanted to progress further and learn more. The Assistant Health Practitioner Apprenticeship seemed the perfect way to advance in my career, whilst still staying at the University Hospital of North Midlands Royal Stoke Maternity where I was already working. I’m also a mother of three, so this meant I could still support my family and maintain my current routine.

Because I found out about the apprenticeship quite late into the application process, I had to apply quite quickly but it was quick and easy to do.

The degree apprenticeship has definitely been the step up I needed in my career. It can be challenging at times as my role is to support both midwives and the theatre team in emergency, high-risk settings. In this setting, I’ve been able to develop my understanding of why these emergencies occur and how I can support midwives and other healthcare workers in these situations. It’s given me the confidence to ask more questions which, in turn, has helped me learn more.

I attend university one day a week and I learn so much; the course is split into different pathways, so I get to work with students who study mammography and radiology as well as my fellow midwifery course mates. Modules are split between those just for midwifery students and those on the whole course, so there’s a good mixture of specific knowledge and wider healthcare knowledge. It’s really interesting to hear the experiences of the other students.

I’ve become really close with everyone, especially the others studying midwifery. The midwifery pathway group is quite small, but we work really well as a team and complement one another. We have all supported each other in different ways and it’s great to have that support network to spur me on and lean on if I need support.

As a mum, I struggle to ask for help, as I’m always the one helping others! I’ve learnt that I don’t need to know everything and that it’s okay to ask for help, whether that’s from my people on my course, my lecturers or the support services at the university. The Centre for Academic Success have been a huge help in improving my academic writing. This is something I didn’t have much confidence in but with their help, I’ve made some big improvements.

I’ve been lucky enough to already secure a job prior to finishing my qualification. I’ve been offered a brand-new role in Retention, Recruitment and Education which means I will be supporting maternity support workers and helping new starters in the department. Without the experiences I’ve had on my apprenticeship, I never would have had the confidence or the communication skills to take on this role. Now, I feel prepared and that I’m in a position to help staff and make a difference to their working lives.

To me, ‘I am BCU’ means being part of fantastic community and support network.”