I’m Michael Coxon and I’m a nursing assistant
at Gateshead NHS Trust. When I was at school I didn’t really have any idea of what I
wanted to do. I was really sport orientated so I thought that was the route I should and
was told to go down, that was the advice I was given. I applied for a degree at Sunderland university
and when I got there it just wasn’t for me. That’s when I knew I needed to sort
of look for a change. Upon looking for jobs I came across NHS jobs
and on every post you needed some kind of experience so I found an apprenticeship in
business admin, so that’s, that was my first step into an apprenticeship. I was based in main outpatients and it was
a very fast paced environment and it was good but I found I just had too much energy to
be sitting behind a desk, mainly behind a computer. What I really enjoyed was the interaction
with the patients, and it was sort of suggested to me that I came over to the clinical side
other than the admin and that sort of planted the seed for me. When I first started the healthcare apprenticeship
I was going into it totally blind. When I first told people what I was doing they expected
me to say that like my mam was like clinical, or that’s how I got into it, but the only
thing I was going off was that I was good with patients. I think like one of the first tasks that you’re
going to be given as a nursing assistant is the morning washes and for me, like a young
lad, I never thought I’d be doing that, but I think I do it well. The learning through
the apprenticeship is very hands-on. At university, as I say, it was ‘here’s a book, go and
read it’, whereas on the apprenticeship you were shown in real life experience with
a patient in front of you and it just made it so much more real and that’s how I learnt
the best. So today’s been extra special because I
did get nominated for an award and I’ve also just checked my phone there and I’ve
got my place in university for my adult nursing degree.