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Petroc based Foundation Degree Health and Social Care students have recently completed a year’s partnership working with Family Compass
Foundation Degree Health and Social Care students work in partnership with local Family support Community Interest Company.
Petroc based Foundation Degree Health and Social Care students have recently completed a year’s partnership working with Family Compass; a North Devon based Community Interest Company (CIC). The degree level students have worked collaboratively with Family Compass throughout the year to develop the CIC’s range of provision.
Collaborating with Petroc has been a fantastic success for all involved
Keda Johnstone (Operations Director) and Lucy Capron (Development Director of Family Compass stated that:
“We had been keen for some time to develop a resilience programme for the secondary age group, but knew that developing this material would require significant research, consultation and participation from young people. We leapt at the opportunity to collaborate with Petroc and have been hugely impressed with the way the Foundation Degree Health and Social Care students have stepped up to the challenge, delivering an exceptionally well-researched, thorough and creative response to their project brief.
For Family Compass the collaboration has been a huge success, giving us a breadth of insight and understanding we simply would not have achieved by developing this new programme alone. We have secured grant funding to deliver our first ‘Inhale/Exhale’ programme (the excellent name chosen following an online survey by the students) and are looking forward to feeding back results from this. The fact that all their hard work will now be transformed into real support for young people will hopefully encourage and motivate these inspiring students to achieve great things in the future”.
Foundation Degree Health and social care students gain considerably from the project
Students upon the Foundation Degree Health and Social Care, have worked extremely hard and shown great commitment and dedication to develop the “Inhale/Exhale” programme that will be used by Family Compass across secondary schools. Student, Kelly Hudson in her role as Inhale/Exhale project Coordinator stated that: “having this valuable opportunity to work together so closely with an employer has been a really rewarding experience. We as a student group have benefitted significantly in terms of our employability, and working knowledge and skills. This has been a real insight into a range of professional health and social care career options”.
An exceptionally valuable professional development opportunity
The collaboration upon the community based project has also been a success from the perspective of the Foundation Degree Health and Social Care Programme Manager; Clark Denby, who feels that there has been a: “significant benefit for students working collaboratively with an employer, getting a range of real life work experiences that have been both challenging and very rewarding. The students have not only gained essential work based skills and knowledge, but have also developed strong professional relationships with an outstanding employer that will really enhance their employability”. Clark was also keen to iterate that many of our Foundation Degree Health and Social Care students go on to complete their 3rd year of studies and graduate with a BA Honours in Health and Social Care here at Petroc. I am very proud of our developing reputation for empowering people to achieve a Degree in Health and Social care locally. We now have students going on after their three years with us to further studies and/or gain employment in social work, teaching, health promotion and much more.
Keda Johnstone echoes this sentiment regarding the efforts of the students by saying that: “Appropriately, it has also been a journey requiring resilience and tenacity; the students’ growing confidence and professionalism over the course of the project has been a pleasure to see. I hope it has given them all a taste of the kind of ‘real life’ demands which await them in their chosen careers; they have achieved deadlines, worked together as a team, stuck to what they have been asked to do without being distracted, presented information in a variety of ways, learned from mistakes and, above all, communicated to us their enthusiasm and commitment”.
Amy was part of the Care Academy and is currently in her third year of a Children's Nursing degree.
Health and Social Care Extended Diploma
What were your highlights from your time at college?
Health and Social Care was an amazing BTEC to do, which gave me so many opportunities. It helped develop my writing style, and helped me grow and develop confidently whilst on placement and at work. We fundraised, we helped teach children how to swim (alongside the actual swimming teacher of course!), we went on many amazing placements, I was in the Care Academy, I met amazing friends and I just had a wonderful time. Petroc gave me many great opportunities, many of which I spoke about in my UCAS application and interviews which helped me get into university.
Why did you join the Care Academy and what did you learn from the experience?
I was in the first year for the Care Academy. I got selected for an interview and then after the interview I was thrilled to be accepted onto the Care Academy. I had never considered a health career, I thought throughout college that I was going to be a teacher. I learnt so much throughout the Care Academy. I really appreciated seeing different parts of the hospital and spending time with many professions. I loved spending time particularly with the nurses. I spent a few days with the nurses in the out-patient’s department, in a wonderful ward, both at the district hospital, and in a lovely ward in a community hospital. I discovered that I wanted to be a nurse through the Care Academy, so I owe my career to it. I honestly didn’t consider nursing, so if I hadn’t have had the opportunities I did in the Care Academy, I don’t know if I would be in my third year of children’s nursing today.
What are you doing now and what are your long-term career hopes and aspirations?
I’m currently in my third year of Children’s Nursing at university. I got offered my first band 5 nursing position a month ago and I have an interview for my dream job this week. My hope is to become a (children’s) cardiac intensive care nurse. My long-term career goal is to become an advanced nurse practitioner in (children’s) cardiac intensive care and hopefully one day progress to become a retrieval nurse. I hope to take my skills from my nursing and my faith around the world, especially to India, and help less-advantaged children and their families get the healthcare that they need. Nursing can take you anywhere, it’s a very exciting career choice!
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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