|Qualification:||Level 3 Adult Care Apprenticeship|
Courtney is completing her Level 3 Adult Care Apprenticeship with IPS and Purelife Homecare, after having no qualifications in care previously, Courtney talks to us about how her Apprenticeship training is going and how it has had to adapt because of Covid-19…
“I’m a community care worker for Purelife, whilst completing my Level 3 Adult Care Apprenticeship and this is the first care company I have ever worked for. Previously, I had been doing odd jobs after qualifying at school in BTEC Level 3 Music and studying 1 year of BTEC Level 3 Business at college. I had recently lost my other job and thought I would give care work a go, then soon fell in love with care and wanted to learn and be qualified in a job I enjoy. I had a meeting a few months after I started at Purelife with my manager and I expressed an interest in wanting to do my NVQ Level 2 in health and social care. She told me this would be possible and that she’d investigate. My manager found IPS to deliver the Apprenticeship Training, and when she came back to me and offered me an NVQ Level 3, I jumped at the chance. Everything was explained to me about the programme and I was nervous to do it at first, as I hated the school environment, but this was a great chance to qualify and further my understanding of care and what is involved and I soon came to realise that this wasn’t like the school environment and I would be learning while gaining experience in the workplace.
I am finding all aspects of my NVQ enjoyable and I am progressing well. Beforehand, I was having face to face meetings with my Trainer at my workplace, but I was struggling with keeping them on the days set due to workload. With the current situation and social distancing, the visits haven’t been feasible and when lockdown begun, Lou (my IPS Trainer) approached me and asked if I would be willing to do face-to-face oral discussions over Microsoft Teams. I was a bit hesitant at first but agreed to it and I downloaded the app on my work tablet and Lou set up the invite. At first, I was nervous but slowly got into the rhythm of it, I have actually found these sessions very helpful and were more flexible to fit in around my workload, I’m able to have a session once a week on my day off at home. Lou is also very flexible with times and is willing to work around my schedule. The oral discussions are brilliant, and I feel like I’m really supported. Lou has always been willing to help me if I got stuck, and the virtual visits feel like I’m having an ordinary conversation with someone just like before. As a result of having the discussion once a week, I have now only got to finish one written unit and my observations left until I complete. In a weird way the lockdown has given me the push I needed to get stuck into my work and if possible, I feel even more supported. Even though Lou has not been able to read my written work, I have been able to send her pictures of this and she’s been able to give me feedback and supported me on improving my work and I feel IPS has adapted really well in helping their learners. I have even improved on my IT skills during lockdown; I have learned how to edit documents on my work tablet and how to change documents from Word to Google document so I can access them on my iPad. I have also improved on my spelling, as all my work is handwritten. I don’t do a lot of writing anymore as all my notes for work are typed up on a tablet and this minimises the amount of handwritten stuff I do at work.
My qualification is also helping me expand my knowledge in health and social care, it’s helping me improve in how I provide care to others. During Covid-19 lockdown, my workload has changed slightly, and I have tried to improve the lives of my clients. Many of them can’t see their family as much as they would normally, and this can influence their mental health and well-being. My qualification is really helping me spot this and so one of my clients was feeling particularly fed up and I knew they like music, so in one of their calls I simply put some music on and had a dance with them. This had a greatly positive impact on them and lifted their spirit. In turn, it has also changed other carer’s views on what they do for clients. More of us are constantly going above and beyond for our clients, to help improve their lives in this uncertain time. Covid-19 has had a huge effect on our practices; our infection control policy has changed, and we are washing our hands as soon as we arrive in calls and we can’t take some of our clients shopping like we use to. Other than that, our work is still the same, we just must be more vigilant to our surroundings.
My Apprenticeship has given me the chance and opportunity to further my career and opened my career path to other opportunities, I especially have an interest in progressing into mental health and dementia and I would love to be a dementia nurse. If not, I’d love to do nursing in general or even just work with dementia clients in some form. Lou has been great at giving me advice and guidance on what I can do after my Apprenticeship and has suggested things for me to research into and other options to pursue. Lou is a great Trainer and has supported and helped me out massively. I will definitely look to complete more qualifications with IPS and progress within my care career to upskill.
My advice to others would be that it’s never too late to find something you enjoy and want to expand your knowledge in. Sometimes the most unexpected things can be something you grow to love. I never enjoyed learning at school but doing this NVQ has shown me that I love to learn. I’ve been enjoying gaining experience when working and I’m glad I have been doing my qualification with IPS.”
We wish Courtney all the best in her career! We also thank all Keyworkers during this time!