Name: Sara Winter
Qualification: NVQ 3 Health and Social Care Apprenticeship
Sara Winter Health Care Apprentice with IPS Trainer Lynnette

Sara has successfully achieved her Level 3 Apprenticeship in Health and Social Care with IPS and employer Mortimer Society at Birling House, Snodland. Sara works as a full-time Care Assistant and has supported night roles but what are her future career goals? IPS caught up with Sara to find out.

“I’ve worked in the Care sector for four years now, since moving from the hotel/catering sector. After finding out the hotel I worked in was closing and I was to be made redundant, a friend suggested a career within Care, so I decided to work full time at the hotel for five days and at the weekend work in care. I honestly wish I did it sooner. I have now worked in Care for 4 years and have been at Mortimer Society for 2 ½ years, and they have encouraged me to try new things. I have supported people travelling to the hospital, and when they offered me the Level 3 apprenticeship, I couldn’t wait to start. I had already done my Care Certificate and was due to do my apprenticeship at a previous care home, but there was a 2-year waiting list to take part, so I was happy when this came up.  I had no care qualifications and this qualification can open now open new doors to me. Mortimer Society had used alternative training providers previously but they didn’t work out well.

I was enrolled in the second group to be trained by IPS. The training was always consistent, and we got a lot of support, we could choose units that were most relevant to our role which was very beneficial.  My apprenticeship was interesting to me and has made me more knowledgeable, more aware in my role and of particular circumstances that can arise in care homes. I’m glad I have this qualification now and it has given me a proper groundwork for a future career. “

Sara was in a group of 5/6 learners which IPS Health and Social Care Trainer Lynnette (Pictured Right)  taught and in addition to her support the group also had the support of each other.

“I enjoyed the learning aspect of my apprenticeship, our employers were accommodating and let us fit our shifts around visits so the group could get together. The apprenticeship was easy in the fact that we could work at our own pace, there was no pressure.  Lynnette worked at an individual level for everyone and made sure if anyone needed extra help, she would be there to support, taking time out to explain to us and offered additional sessions if required and we had constant contact with her. Lynette’s helped us to work as a team and this was shown in observations, we would give our advice to one another on how we could improve a procedure, etc.

I completed my ERR within my apprenticeship (Employee Rights and Responsibilities), and I have also enjoyed learning about the legislation that surrounds care. We are at the higher end of care here, and so we need to be skilled and knowledgeable as some of our resident’s lack communicating verbally, so we need a lot of knowledge to uphold their rights and to support their decisions, advising them of their rights also.

I believe the research you do regarding course units gives you more extensive knowledge, I completed an extra unit through further research that I didn’t need to do, but I was enjoying my researching so much and the bonus was it added a module to my qualification. I also enjoyed researching a lot into peg feeding (when someone cannot swallow and is fed by a tube), and I utilized Lynnette’s experience in this area, we had good discussions on this which I found interesting, hearing about first-hand experience from my trainer.

“Currently I am a care assistant here at Mortimer Society, but eventually I would like to do more clinical work/hospital work.  I have developed my interest in this as when I first joined the Care Sector, for my first three months I was shadowed someone consistently in the hospital and I would like to broaden my knowledge in this way.

Since completing my apprenticeship and not quite knowing what I wanted to do initially as a career it has now made me think about going into nursing as I prefer the technical side of care.  People think of Care as just working in care homes, but it covers such a big umbrella of sectors.  My level 3 apprenticeship is a great stepping stone for me for the future, I can’t afford to go to University for Nursing training so as an alternative I understand that on occasion hospitals can help support and sponsor individuals and having this qualification behind me is a huge benefit for this. I would work with IPS again, I always want to develop my skills and enrolling onto some of their short courses, for example, the principles of end of life care would help me achieve this.

“Apprenticeships are the future. They are suitable for anyone. Whether you are in full-time work and are upskilling or just leaving school, whether you’re in your 30’s/40s like me, it’s never too late to learn. Apprenticeships give you knowledge, confidence and skills in the sector you want to work in and open doors to further your career.

Congratulations to Sara for completing her apprenticeship and IPS wish you all the best for your future endeavours in a nursing background!

If you would like to find out more about IPS's apprenticeships in Health and Social Care, please call 01304 228180