Staff training

Paul McGregor - Wyndham Hall care home, Bicester Unfortunately, there were no spaces

I have been a healthcare assistant at Wyndham Hall care home for three-and- a-half years. Having taken redundancy from my previous engineering job, this was a complete career change for me, but I always like to help people when it is needed and between jobs I qualified as a mental health first aider. While I settled into the new job with

Maria Mallaband, I wanted to see if I could take gain a qualification in social care, so I asked if I could do my NVQ3 in social care. The home agreed and so I completed and gained my qualification. The course was very interesting, and

I now put my learning into practice as a healthcare assistant Because I enjoy my work, I wanted to see how I could extend my knowledge and look further into my career. An opportunity came up to become a care practitioner which I thought was a good idea.

left, but my manager asked me if I would like to the TNA course. I applied and, after I was interviewed, I was offered a position on the programme. Due to the pandemic, the university stopped all face-to-face teaching and so all my modules, so far, have been completed online. This has been very strange, but I think

Teesside University has done very well in converting the modules into online modules. I have really enjoyed the programme and have learnt loads which I am putting into practice in the home. One of the things which I am missing is the different placements which I should be going on to learn different aspects of nursing. The home can only do so much due

to the limitations within the setting, but I can say that they have accommodated me the best way they can during these

Kay Saunders - Yohden Care Complex, Hartlepool

It will be 11 years in July since I joined Yohden Care Complex, where I work as a care practitioner. I enrolled on the TNA programme as it allowed me to continue to pursue my dream of eventually becoming a qualified nurse. Going back into my earlier education,

I had almost finished year one of my nursing studies when I had to withdraw from the course to go back to Yohden full-time to provide for my children as I had become a single parent. I honestly thought my career in nursing was never going to happen. Then I was offered the chance by the company to apply for the TNA course.

For me, the highlights of the programme have been meeting other students from so many different clinical backgrounds and having the opportunity to learn about their experiences, and for them to learn about mine. The programme has given me so much

more confidence within Yohden and the knowledge I am continually gaining I am able to pass on to my colleagues. Hopefully, it gives them more confidence in me as a member of their team too. In terms of how Covid-19 has impacted my professional career it has been difficult, the biggest struggle being that we are now completely online at university and having to learn remotely when I have always been in a classroom learning together with my peers. Covid has changed my life completely

too. I have missed seeing my family and my children miss their grandparents and cousins terribly. My ambition for the future is to become a registered nurse and be able to bring so much more to Yohden for the clients and the team. This will mean working my way from carer to senior carer to care practitioner to trainee nurse associate and hopefully to qualified nurse associate.

June 2021 •

difficult times. I carry out more nursing roles now under the guidance of a nurse than previously and what I have learnt from doing the course is helping me to achieve my goals. My main target at the moment is to become a nursing associate with the possible chance of continuing my career to become a registered nurse.

Alyson Thompson

Alyson Thompson is head of learning and development at Leeds-based Maria Mallaband Care Group, which operates 80 care homes and employs around 5,000 staff. Having moved from the finance industry, Alyson joined Maria Mallaband in 2009 as a part-time care home administrator. Alyson believes building a team of people who are both confident and competent in their work is crucial for achieving the highest standards of care. That, she says, involves constantly advancing the team through qualifications along with an ongoing learning and development plan.


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