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Growing your NHS career

Carlie Page, healthcare apprentice

Having a brain tumour in 2007 was the catalyst for me wanting to become a nurse. The care and empathy I received made me desperate to work in a healthcare role.

I had previously worked in a bank for six years and was becoming increasingly unfulfilled in this career. I decided to start my career within the NHS by becoming a volunteer. I loved visiting the wards, especially the elderly care ones. Many patients in these wards didn't have visitors and it meant a lot to be to be able to give something back. During annual leave in my old job, I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to do work experience for a week in the Wessex Neurological Centre. That was it for me. I knew that nursing was my calling as I loved the interaction with the patients and was heartbroken when the placement was up.

From there I applied for a health care assistant job which I was lucky enough to get. I was placed on D6 which is a male respiratory ward. I haven't looked back since. For the first time in my life I am in a career which I feel I was made to do. The job satisfaction is incredible and I’m proud to have advanced to become a band 4 associate practitioner.

Undertaking the apprenticeship is helping me to build on my skill set and be able to undertake procedures such as catheterisation, blood taking and inserting naso-gastric tubes, so it was a natural progression for me. In the future I will be applying to undertake my nurse training via the Open University. I would really recommend anyone seeking a career in the NHS to start with volunteering. It's an excellent and fulfilling way to give something back and who knows what doors it can open for you.

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