From an apprenticeship in dental nursing to a degree apprenticeship in podiatry
“My name is Shona Wesley, I am 19 years old and studying podiatry at the University of Huddersfield through the new degree apprenticeship programme with East Lancashire Hospitals Trust.
When I first left school, I wasn’t fully sure what career path I was going to take and decided upon an apprenticeship in dental nursing. I completed my Level 3 certificate and loved the role, however I knew that I wanted a more active role in health care regarding patient contact and responsibility. So, I made the decision to go back to full time education and complete my A levels in Biology, English Language and Art.
I stumbled on Podiatry by chance
At this point, I aspired to study nursing and worked hard with my A Levels with this goal in mind. When I went for the open day at Salford University for the nursing degree programme, I happened to stumble upon podiatry for the first time. I didn’t even know what it was, never mind what the course entailed. I did some research on the course at home and soon realised this would be an excellent option for me.
By chance, I came across the podiatry degree apprenticeship advertised online around May time when I was studying for my A Level exams. I was so excited to see the post and spent some time putting together a good application. I was excited because I knew it would be a fantastic opportunity with lots of hands on experience in the role. As well as a paid job with the NHS, I also get to study at Huddersfield University.
It’s like winning the lottery!
I honestly feel like I have won the lottery with being accepted onto this degree programme! Learning new things and developing every single day! I attend University 3 days a week and work in a Podiatry clinic 2 days a week as well as the term holidays. I’m so lucky to have this level of patient exposure because it has really taught me the skills which cannot be learnt in the classroom. I am much more confident as a person now and I find it really helps to consolidate the information I’ve learnt at University because I am getting to see it in real life every week.
At work I can carry out foot care clinics independently, new patient assessments and assist in high risk wound care clinics. Very soon we will be starting to carry out scalpel work in clinic which is very exciting. What I am doing at work matches what we are studying at university at that time which I find very helpful.
I had no idea what podiatry was
One year ago, I had no idea what podiatry even was. I feel this is such a shame because the role is so rewarding, and I absolutely love what I am doing. Upon graduation I aspire to progress onto a Band 6/7 Podiatrist in the NHS and possibly do some of my own private work as well. Podiatry seems to be a career that is not well known despite it being increasingly essential. I would highly recommend this as a career to anyone!”
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The Podiatry Careers Team