Clinical care assistant Trevor Merry
1) Why did you decide to become an apprentice in the NHS?
I had always thought about becoming a paramedic, however it was never the right time to leave my job. When I began working in pathology, the job was interesting, however there was no provision for career progression.
This apprenticeship has given me the best of both worlds. I have been able to study and work towards a nationally recognised qualification and do a job I love and get paid at the same time.
2) What is a typical day like?
A typical day starts before my shift even begins, completing the crew log and pre shift checks for vehicle and equipment. My role includes driving the ambulance on blue lights, assisting the paramedic by doing patient observations, taking patient history, re-stocking equipment, conversing with patients, moving and handling patients and giving handovers to hospital staff.
3) What did you do before the apprenticeship?
Before I started working for the NHS, I was a laboratory analyst at a large international company where I then progressed onto working in the NHS as a pathology support worker in blood sciences.
4) How has COVID-19 affected you and your work?
After my initial training was completed, I began working on the road in February 2020, which was at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the beginning, what I found difficult was the changes to rules including PPE requirements and cleaning regimes as things were changing so quickly.
The sheer volume of incidents and the types of incidents we have attended can affect you mentally – it can be hard taking patients to hospital who may never see their relatives again, for example. But my crew mates helped me through.
5) Do you have any thought or reflections about your time so far as an apprentice in the NHS?
The apprenticeship training program has been a challenge, however with the help and support from the training team coupled with the theory and practical training, I have a solid foundation to progress to my ultimate goal onto the paramedic apprenticeship. I helped deliver my first baby just before the New Year and I just put the training into practice and the result was a healthy baby boy and mother. I would recommend an apprenticeship to everyone. In fact, my eldest daughter has also been through an NHS apprenticeship with another Trust and is now employed in physiotherapy.
You can find out more about our apprenticeship roles here: /careers/apprenticeships.aspx