• 1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
  • I'm on a degree apprenticeship so during term time I have uni two days, one study day and two days working in the hospital. Out of term time, there are four working days and one study day. As I am a student I am rotated between departments including non-invasive (ECGs, ETTs & holter monitor analysis), adult ECHO, Pediatrics and Cath-Lab with training in performing, reporting and all other relevant practice.


  • 2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
  • I have developed time-management skills which are crucial to this role as you have to manage university (assignments and exams) as well as working (where you will have to go through tests and exams from the department itself in order to be signed off to do tests by yourself). Skills such as performing and analysing ECGs, holter-monitors and ECHO scans are all new skills which I have learned on the job.


  • 3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
  • I thoroughly enjoy the programme as I enjoy the process of learning theoretical knowledge at university and seeing its real life application at work. Having already done a traditional previous degree, I enjoy the integration of work and study that a degree apprenticeship provides. Not to mention you learn a lot more from working than just attending university, you will find apprentices have a more in-depth knowledge and confidence in performing tests compared to students who are doing the traditional degree and only have limited placement time.


  • 4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
  • From the side of the hospital and the trust, it is extremely well organised. We receive an additional study day that not all trusts provide and there is an attempt to regularly rotate students as much as possible (whilst managing the degree requirements) between departments. The university on the other hand did not seem to be well organised during the first year of the course with even basic needs, such as enrollment. I was attending university but was not able to enroll for quite a few weeks, so I couldn't access any material and despite multiple of us chasing this up with the uni we couldn't get anywhere. Eventually the student supervisor at the hospital had to be involved in order to sort this. Structure of the course itself is not bad, with COVID I have mostly done it online. Workload from university is intense for apprentices as apart from assignments and exams you have a portfolio which requires a lot of time as there are many aspects of it and a lot of paperwork.


  • 5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
  • My employers are extremely supportive and as they have run the apprenticeship and other training programmes before they are very well informed and aware of what students require in terms of training and study time. The uni say that it is not necessary to provide an additional study day however my department does provide it and during assignments and exams they are extremely accommodating and willing to provide extra study days. However, these kinds of asks do require that you have been able to build a trustful relationship with them.


  • 6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
  • I believe that due to the disorganisation of the course during first year and all the consequent chasing and getting nowhere was a very poor show for the university. I think, second year was more oragnised therefore there was more support offered. In terms of the portfolio requirements, they can sometimes be very vague as to what you need to do in order to do well.


  • 7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
  • I believe that the knowledge gained from the university is crucial in order to understand the tests and their consequents results that I perform on a daily basis. While I found that I had more practical knowledge and more confidence in carrying out the tests compared to traditional students simply due to more exposure at work, the theoretical knowledge was the same. However, working helped build on the basic knowledge gained at university as you can always ask staff who are qualified and experienced - they are an endless and extremely valuable resource.


  • 8. Are there extra-curricular activities to get involved in at your work? (For example, any social activities, sports teams, or even professional networking events.)
  • There are some traditional social events such as at Christmas however apart from that there is not much. Yet it should be noted that most of my time has so far been during COVID. Having moved from quite far for this job, I did find it extremely isolating at times but my mangers were really helpful.


  • 9a. Would you recommend NHS to a friend?
  • Yes

  • 9b. Why?
  • I think that the NHS itself as an organistaion is amazing and the work is highly satisfying and rewarding. You get a very supportive team to work with in the NHS, not just with clinical staff that you work with but also reception staff and doctors and nurses etc., - it is a very large integrated network. Even if there are solo tasks, you can very easily ask for help and it will be provided which I think is a fantastic attribute.

  • 10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to NHS?
  • If you want to do work which provides immediate gratification then the NHS is ideal. This role does require that you are a people person as you have to interact with patients and you must already have strong time management skills. This role requires passion and genuine interest otherwise it would be very easy for someone to drown in the amount of work that is required. I would highly recommend this role and the NHS as a whole.


Degree Apprenticeship / Sponsored Degree (Level 6/7)

Health & Social Care Services


June 2021

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