Name: Luke Bond
Course: Level 5 Nursing Associate Apprenticeship
Employer: Royal Cornwall Hospital Treliske
Like many others, Luke used the time the UK spent in national lockdown to reflect on where he wanted to go next.
Already well-established in the care sector, Luke had spent several years with Cornwall Care, beginning as a Community Care Assistant, and ultimately becoming an Area Manager. He later joined the NHS, working as a therapist on the Acute Medical Unit (AMU) at Royal Cornwall Hospital Treliske.
Having wanted to go into nursing before embarking on his career in social care, he jumped at the opportunity to join the Nursing Associate Apprenticeship at Truro and Penwith College in September 2020, while retaining his current role at RCHT.
Unlike others, Luke was a key worker and didn’t have the luxury of being able to ‘slow down’ during the pandemic, meaning he was able to feel the impact of what he had learnt in the first few months of his Apprenticeship during the third lockdown, comparing it with what he was able to do in the first.
Luke said: “The first lockdown was before I started the course. You always feel like you can do more but don’t have the skillset or experience to do it. This lockdown, not even a year later, it has given me so much confidence in my abilities.”
Luke had initial worries his dyslexia would impact upon the theory elements of the course, but when struggling with an assignment or understanding it, he found himself extremely supported by the tutors, he said: “All it takes is asking for help and the tutors will do everything they can to explain it differently for you. They are always looking for new ways to show you or teach you something to make sure you fully understand.”
“During each step of the Apprenticeship I never felt like I was on my own. There was always support from the College and the hospital, even outside of the classroom and workplace I had someone who I could talk to and get help from. Both teams were helpful, patient, and flexible, which are qualities I had to have too, and I think anyone in healthcare should have.”
After completing the Apprenticeship, Luke became a Registered Nursing Associate on his original ward, the Acute Medical Unit (AMU) at RCHT.
Reflecting on both his past experiences and the Nursing Associate Apprenticeship, Luke commented: “I think all together, holistically, all my skills that I’ve gotten from being a community care assistant to area manager to working with therapies; they’ve all been brought together at the end of this course, and it’s just made me who I am. It’s made me think of loads of different things in different ways that I wouldn’t have before.”
And when asked what he would say to anyone considering doing the Nursing Associate Apprenticeship with Truro and Penwith College, he is unequivocal in his reply;
“Definitely do it! I got nervous and thought what if I am not good enough for it. But the way the tutors greeted me and their support, gave me all the confidence I needed. If you are passionate about something, just do it, you are the only person who holds yourself back.”