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Top tips for Apprenticeship success

We’re proud to offer a range of higher and degree apprenticeships in healthcare, and offer another route to people who are keen to follow a career in healthcare. Our growing portfolio of apprenticeships includes Assistant Practitioner in Health, Nursing Associate, Rehabilitation Worker, Registered Nurse, Advanced Clinical Practitioner and Operating Department Practitioner. Our apprentices are an inspiration, as not only are they juggling work, education and family, but they are also working on the front line during the Coronavirus pandemic!

As part of National Apprenticeship Week, and to celebrate the work our apprentices are doing in health and social care, we thought we’d share some top tips from our staff, employers and apprentices on how to make the most of your healthcare apprenticeship.

Be organised

The key to success is planning ahead, especially when you have work, study and family commitments to manage.  Our advice is to find out when you are at your best (maybe you’re an early bird or night owl), and if possible, allocate time to study then. 

“Put together a timetable to include breaks and leisure time” Sheryl King, Lecturer in Learning Disabilities Nursing

“Be organised, focused, confident, and make sure you enjoy the journey.” Alison Fleming, Clinical Practice Facilitator (NHS Trust employer partner)

“Staying motivated is key; keep reminding yourself of the end goal and organise regular study time into your schedule.” Bradley Redden, Apprentice (Assistant Theatre Practitioner)

Pace yourself

“Study in bite size chunks to fit around home life” Sheryl King, Lecturer in Learning Disabilities Nursing

“Try and break up any work that you need to do into chunks of 15 minutes.  For example, whilst the dinner is cooking / you are waiting for your favourite TV programme to start / your children are watching the TV, use the time to read that article, check your references, reread your assignment, look at a pre–sessional video and so on.  Keep using these 15 minute chunks over the week – you would be amazed at how they add up!”  Dr Andrea Page, Associate Professor

Embrace your University study days!

Don’t forget, your employer will grant you scheduled time off from work to attend university, so take full advantage of everything you can on these days.  Make use of the many resources the library has to offer, from books to journals, and the different study spaces available to suit your study style.  It’s also important to get together with your peers to encourage and support each other face to face.

“Ensure you book tutorials with your tutor and PDD (Professional Development Department) which make a massive difference in helping you produce the best work possible.”

Bradley Redden, Apprenticeship student (Assistant Theatre Practitioner)

“Access all the support that is offered to you. Often people say to me ‘but I didn’t want to be nuisance’. Our job is to support you, and we want to see you succeed! Seeking support not only when you need it but also to help you develop even more is what we want to see you doing. Make full use of the services and support available to you during the two years.”

Sam Chapman, Senior Lecturer Pre-Registration Nursing for the TNA programme

“Use all the resources available to you.”  Juliet Hopkins, Lecturer

Look after yourself

“Take regular breaks and be kind to yourself.”  Juliet Hopkins, Lecturer

Although it might feel like there is a lot to do, it is important to take a break, and make time for yourself, even though this isn’t always top of your list.  You can’t look after others as well as you want to (personally or professionally) if you’re burnt out.  Make sure you have little treats lined up to keep you motivated (chocolate always helps!); embrace that guilty pleasure TV show; make time to catch up with friends and family (even if it’s virtually!) and most importantly - be kind to yourself. 

Be positive and don’t give up

“My advice to the new assistant practitioners is to have a positive attitude all the time despite stressful and challenging situations.  Patients benefit greatly from seeing the smile on our faces or hearing a few kind words and empathy.”Justyna Smazyk, FdSc Assistant Practitioner (Surgical Support) apprentice

“Don`t give up! If you are struggling with any aspect of the course, seek help and support from your line manager, personal tutor, peer group, practice supervisor or assessor, placement support team, academic or student services, depending on your concerns.”  Helen Holder, Course Leader for BSc (Hons) Nurse Degree Apprenticeship

If you need it, Birmingham City University has a wealth of student support available, covering a range of topics from academic support, financial advice, and personal health and wellbeing. 

“Remember…you deserve to be here. You are not an ‘Imposter’!”  Sheryl King, Lecturer in Learning Disabilities Nursing

Want to know more about our apprenticeships?

Take a look at our apprenticeship options, and take your first step towards gaining the healthcare qualification that you’ve always wanted.

Apply now

Want to know more about our apprenticeships?

Take a look at our apprenticeship options, and take your first step towards gaining the healthcare qualification that you’ve always wanted.

Apply now