Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust has gained 22 newly qualified Assistant Practitioners. The team at the Trust are celebrating after completing their two-year Foundation Degree and Higher Apprenticeship in Healthcare Practice.
The staff members played an important role in supporting the Trust’s Covid-19 response, and have now successfully achieved their award.
The course is undertaken over two years in partnership with the Clinical Education Team at the Trust and University Centre South Devon. The students undertook academic modules to develop their knowledge and understanding alongside clinical practice and specific competencies set by their areas to support the workforce need.
As part of the programme the students had the opportunity to spend time with patients to gain a deeper understanding of what life is like when living with a long-term condition, met volunteer groups supporting individuals in the community and learned from the Devon Clinical Commissioning Group to understand how services are developed at both a national and local level. The apprenticeship allowed the students to undertake their substantive posts with 20% of their week allocated for study and embedding their specialist skills.
All of the newly qualified staff work across the Trust supporting the Nursing and Allied Health Professions and are an asset to their teams. A number of the students are transitioning straight onto the final part of the Degree Nurse Apprenticeship pathway with Plymouth University.
Rachel Nolan, Education Programme Lead at Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, said: “It has been a privilege to work so closely with the students and see them develop not only their knowledge and practice but also confidence. The course has allowed them to ask questions and explore the rationale behind their actions. They have overcome adversity and the challenges that the pandemic has thrown at them and completed their studies, and we are immensely proud of them all and look forward to seeing where the next part of their individual journeys take them.”
Charlotte Arrowsmith who completed the course and is based with the paediatric team, said: “Undertaking the Assistant Practitioner Foundation Degree has been a fantastic opportunity. I was previously a Healthcare Assistant for many years, but the apprenticeship route allowed me to progress in my career without leaving the trust. It has assisted me in developing a new level of competence and confidence, in practice and academically. I am extremely pleased I decided to do the course and would like to progress further in the future.”
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