What was your drive and motivation to undertake your chosen apprenticeship?

"My primary motivation for undertaking my apprenticeship was to enhance my knowledge and skills in prehospital emergency medicine, which would ultimately benefit my patients. Prior to the apprenticeship, my colleagues and I, who were of the same skill grade (Emergency Medical Technician), would have to request Paramedic assistance to provide higher levels of care. However, this assistance could sometimes be delayed due to Paramedics being required elsewhere. As a direct result of my apprenticeship, I am now a qualified and HCPC registered Paramedic. I no longer need to request assistance from colleagues and can provide these higher levels of care without delay. This was a significant driving force for me to complete my apprenticeship."

How did the apprenticeship programme challenge you both professionally and academically?

"Initially, I found the prospect of re-entering higher education whilst also working full-time to be extremely daunting, as I would not describe myself initially as an academic person. However, with the resources provided by the University of Cumbria and the ample support of the staff, I was able to overcome these challenges and successfully complete my apprenticeship, culminating in the award of a First-Class Honours degree. The experience was both a professional and academic challenge, requiring me to balance my work and studies, and the academic aspect of the programme was particularly demanding. Nevertheless, I am proud of my achievement and grateful for the support I received from the academic staff."

What Challenges / opportunities did the programme offer?

"During my apprenticeship programme, I encountered a number of challenges, including tight, consecutive assignment deadlines which were particularly challenging for me, especially at the beginning of the programme. However, the programme offered plenty of self-directed study time as well as study leave from my employer in order to complete these assignments well within the deadline. Additionally, ample opportunities were available for samples of work to be checked and feedback given prior to submission – a tool I found particularly useful within my time on the programme. These resources and support mechanisms were instrumental in helping me to overcome the challenges I faced and to successfully complete the programme."

How are you utilising the skills learnt from your apprenticeship within the workplace?

"The skills I learned during my apprenticeship have been invaluable in my professional development and have helped me to provide the highest quality care to my patients. These skills include both verbal and non-verbal communication, advanced patient assessment and interventions, and academic writing skills within my patient reports to hospital. Overall, the skills I learned during my apprenticeship have been invaluable in my professional development and have helped me to provide the highest quality care to my patients."

What advice would you give to someone thinking about completing an apprenticeship?

"The prospect of completing an apprenticeship may be daunting, however go for it. The support is impeccable, and the rewards will serve you a lifetime."

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