University success for three employees at Wigan and Leigh Hospice
Two years of hard work has paid off for staff at a Wigan charity who returned to the classroom to learn new skills.
Kerry Beaumont, Jane Teder and Nicola Caunce worked as healthcare assistants at Wigan and Leigh Hospice and studied for a foundation degree in health and social care at the University of Bolton.
The trio not only passed their exams, but were all awarded distinctions, and have now become assistant practitioners.
Kerry, 43, and Nicola, 29, work in the in-patient unit, while Jane, 57, is part of the hospice in your home team.
They found the prospect of signing up for the course nerve-wracking, but all say it has given them a huge boost.
Kerry said: “My mum sadly passed away just as I was starting and since she died the course has been my focus.
“When I was thinking about doing the course my mum said ‘there’s pictures of everyone in a cap and gown up on this wall – when will we get one of you?’ I got a distinction which was a shock and I was quite proud of myself. I think my mum would be proud of me too.”
Nicola, who has worked at the hospice for four years, had to fit her coursework around her job and caring for her seven-year-old daughter Willow.
She said: “I have no confidence in anything I do but two of the staff nurses talked me into applying. One of them was Rachel who has been my mentor throughout and I’m so grateful to her.
“I have cried doing it at times but I have loved it too. I still can’t believe I did it because confidence is such a big thing for me. When I saw my new uniform and picked it up, that was when I realised I’d done it.”
Jane is now qualified to perform assessments of new patients and co-ordinates the staff timetable.
She said: “When I was a healthcare assistant it was all practical hands-on nursing. That is something I definitely want to carry on doing but now I’m more observant when I go to someone’s home. For example, I feel more confident to raise a concern if I think a patient needs more support. It’s such a good feeling.
“On that first day I felt I was a lot older than everyone else and on my own in a blouse but now I’m wearing tracksuits and hoodies so it’s even affected my fashion sense – that’s how much the course has changed every aspect of my life!”
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