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Lois is on the Extended Diploma in Health & Social Care and is also part of the Care Academy
Extended Diploma in Health & Social Care Level 3
“During my first year at college, I did A Levels (including Health and Social Care). However, I soon realised that I wanted to pursue a career in the healthcare industry, so it made sense for me to switch onto a full time Health and Social Care programme in my second year.
On the full time course I knew I would get a lot more practical experience, as work experience is built into the course. This is something which is really important when it comes to finding employment in the future.
Through my aunty, I managed to secure a week’s work experience at the maternity hospital in Southampton. Although this was during term time, my lecturers were really supportive and allowed me to have time out of college to carry out the placement. Normally the hospital only takes people from the area for work experience, so I was really fortunate to be given the opportunity. I always knew I wanted to work in a healthcare role, but after this placement I knew that midwifery was the area I wanted to work in.
Through the charity Amigos, I was also lucky enough to go to Africa on an empowerment programme for women. During this trip I heard stories from lots of different women, and I was shocked to discover that the majority of them had never even seen a midwife.
There is a high infant mortality rate in Africa, due to a lack of cleanliness and understanding of healthcare. When I came back I did a lot more research around midwifery and became even more certain that this was the career for me. I thought it would be amazing to have a career where I can make a real difference to people’s lives.
After I complete the course at Petroc I plan to study midwifery at university. However, I know it is very competitive so I know I have to do lots of other things to make me stand out from the crowd. That’s one of the reasons I joined the Care Academy.
As part of the Care Academy, I’ve had the opportunity to carry out a variety of placements at North Devon District Hospital. I’ve already been in the ultrasound department, and am also trying to get into the maternity ward (although placement students aren’t usually allowed in there, so I’m waiting to hear back about that).
A lot of students don’t get to go on placement until they get to university, so I’m hoping that I’ll be a lot more prepared and less nervous when it comes to going on placement when I start my degree, thanks to my time with the Care Academy.
I’m always interested in gaining new experiences, so during my degree I’d really like to spend time overseas, perhaps using my skills to help with disaster relief.”
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