Lara chose the healthcare and social services apprenticeship because she had always admired the work the employees of such professions put into helping society, communities and individuals. Lara has always had a passion for helping people,
Lara worked throughout the pandemic in at Loch Leven Health Centre which was challenging, however she remained focused and used information and knowledge gained within the FA to support her within her job role, enhancing her overall knowledge and the application of this into practice.
Lara was able to bring more information to the class and share this with her peers as she worked throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and was able to explain some processes such as correct handwashing procedures in line with infection control procedures and the vaccination process, as well as how the pandemic had affected practice –altering the ways in which people were treated.
Lara commented: “During my apprenticeship, I developed capabilities in being a reflective practitioner through carrying out my own knowledge and practice development before looking back on it and analysing what could have been done better, what I did well and what to take from previous experience.
“I also coped well with the blended learning of the apprenticeship, which meant I developed the ability to be resilient throughout hardship. I always contributed towards group discussions within my apprenticeship, which led to my improved capabilities in communication and forward thinking - thinking like a healthcare professional.”
“I have successfully applied my apprenticeship learning in the workplace by using the health and safety guidelines I learned when working during the pandemic - I worked with patients at risk and even those who posed risk to myself in terms of potentially having Covid.
“Through these guidelines I learned via my apprenticeship, I was able to do my job in a safe manner e.g. wearing mask, protective gear, maintaining distance and reminding patients of wiping down their area with a wipe. I also applied my apprenticeship learning just by adopting to be reflective and being more knowledgeable about the way of practice and how to hold professional relationships with patients which are kind, friendly and welcoming -person-centred care.
I also learned infection control and risk assessment basics; therefore, was able to apply this and prevent patients from coming into any sort of harm.”
Lara’s apprenticeship has influenced her progression from high school and college (FA) to university, more specifically the University of Aberdeen where she now studies a degree in the Master of the Arts Psychology and two electives in Sociology and Philosophy.
After university, Lara would like to pursue a career as a psychologist. Lara stated: “I’d like to try my best and support the people who need it most in any way I can. I always had in my head that I wanted to be a Psychologist, but the apprenticeship itself gave me more insight into what that profession would involve and the learning and requirements needed of me in the pursuit. I feel I learned a lot of valuable knowledge, such as the history of Psychology through Freud’s theories of the ID, superego and ego.”
Lara is no longer employed at Loch Leven Health Centre, she finished there at the end of summer for going to university. The reception staff of the surgery said that if she were to return home during the summer holidays, they’ll always have a place for her should she require employment. Lara said that this has stuck with her as she feels she contributed towards something important - something more than herself and the feedback she received over the duration of working there made her feel as if she truly helped people.