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Wioletta I AM BCU - secondary

Wioletta Kocemba

Nursing Associate Apprenticeship

Wioletta knew that she enjoyed working with people, but she’d never found her real passion. It was only when she started working alongside nurses that she realised how rewarding a career in nursing could be and developed an ambition to become a nurse. Encouraged by her colleagues, she applied for the Nursing Associate Apprenticeship. Support from BCU has helped her get to grips with studying in her second language and she is now on her way to achieving her career goals.

“I’ve worked in many different fields over the years, but I’ve never really known what I wanted to do. I love working with people, but beyond that, I wasn’t really sure.

While working as a health educator for Birmingham Healthcare (BCHC) I worked with wonderful nurses who encouraged me to explore my healthcare career options. Then when the Nursing Associate course started, the nurses really motivated me to apply. They saw I had potential supported and encouraged me to fulfil it. My goal now is to become a nurse like them. I have finally found the passion and the goal I’ve been searching for. The Nursing Associate apprenticeship is my first step on the journey to qualifying as a nurse.

When I started the Nursing Associate apprenticeship at Birmingham City University, I was worried as English is not my first language. It actually put me off applying at first as I wasn’t sure if I would be able to cope with university study. But I discovered that there are some wonderful personal tutors at BCU who are really supportive. There is a really good success team who offer support with academic writing, workshops, one to one sessions and English language support. I’m really proud that I passed my anatomy and physiology exams, with high marks. At the start of the course, the sessions were so hard – I really didn’t know what was going on. But I got there thanks to the help and support I received!

My nursing colleagues continue to inspire me now that I’m on the apprenticeship. Nursing can be a tough profession, and there is a lot on their shoulders, but I think it’s worth it. The nurses I work with show me that, even though there’s a lot of pressure, you can still be a wonderful nurse, and see people as human beings, rather than just treat their illness.

Since starting the apprenticeship, I have become much more aware of taking a holistic approach when treating a patient. I’ve experienced a different side of nursing and the pressures it holds during my placements. I’ve seen peers struggling and it made me realise that it’s important to look after your own health and wellbeing. It’s definitely made me consider how to protect myself, to make sure I’m well enough to continue in my work.

We have a really close team of apprentices, and we support and look out for each other, which is so important.  We also support students from other cohorts on the apprenticeship. We can help the new students coming through – we know it’s scary at first, but we’ve survived and we can share that experience with them.

I’m enjoying the apprenticeship because I love learning and the ability to gain new skills. We also get the opportunity to shadow different professionals. As well as working in my own team, I can also book learning experiences with other teams, to broaden my skills. It’s a great way to see different aspects of working in healthcare and gain more experience to take into my future career.

To me, I AM BCU means new opportunities, a new journey, new doors opening and new possibilities…it’s all about excitement!”

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