Nicole Seddon - FDSC Nursing Associate


Why did you choose to study an apprenticeship?

I chose to study an apprenticeship as I was struggling at six-form after realising I am not much of an academic learner but instead more of a visual/ practical learner. In addition to this the support that is provided in all aspects of my life is greater than any support I received while at six-form. I have found I pick up skills and knowledge better when I can put the theory, I learn into practice rather than just reading out of a book which is what an apprenticeship provides. By learning on the job and becoming part of a working team I feel I can ask as many questions as I need to improve my learning without any feelings of embarrassment as people are more understanding that I am here learning as I work. Not only this but I enjoy the work-study-life balance that are apprenticeships as they provide me with a good routine and that continuous learning that I feel I need and enjoy in my life.

Looking back over your time on the apprenticeship so far, how have you found the whole experience?

This is my third apprenticeship I have signed onto in my continuously developing nursing career, and I am so grateful to have been given the opportunity to join this specific one. I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience on this apprenticeship from meeting new people who share the same passion for this field and learning more about my chosen field from both university and my trust. I feel my confidence developing day to day as I take on more responsibilities in the hands-on approach that this apprenticeship supports me to do. I would not change anything about my experience of joining this apprenticeship and have enjoyed learning something new every university lecture, training or shift. I have found that there is always something new to learn and have become more confident/ proud of myself when I have learnt a new task/ skill that I am competent in completing independently.

How would you describe the support that you’ve received from the University of Salford?

I feel the support from the University of Salford has been more than great. They are supportive in all aspects from regular catch ups/ meetings, to always having their emails open and to someone always being there to support students during lectures if they are having a bad day or the teaching is on a sensitive topic. In addition to this all the staff are friendly and easily approachable which makes going to them with issues and asking for support easier.

What has been your proudest achievement on your apprenticeship to date?

My proudest achievement to date has been obtaining a blood sample. Having never done venepuncture before I was worried that even thought I had completed all the theory-based learning I would be unable to do the procedure. My biggest worry was that I would harm the patient but after my peers supporting me and giving me lots of encouraging words I was able to achieve this and then even repeat 5 more times!

What would you say to someone considering an apprenticeship?

I would encourage everyone to do an apprenticeship! The hands-on approach to learning has no downside as you find everyone around you wants you to succeed and will provide any support you need! Just make sure you are organised as it can get very busy and the extra stress for example of not knowing where you are, or what you need to do or not having the correct paperwork can have you feeling unnecessarily overwhelmed.

Do you have any advice for future apprentices?

My advice for future apprentices is to not forget the healthy work-study-life balance! Yes, it will be difficult to balance all of these out when you start, especially if you have never done an apprenticeship before, but get yourself a diary to help organise your time. Write down when you are working, when you are completing your studies, when course work/assessments are due but make sure to plan your life around these, taking time off where you can relax, spend time with friends and family and to de-stress from your apprenticeship. Once you have balanced these out there is more room for you to have fun with your apprenticeship, meet new people, build stronger relationships and learn new things that you have an interest in!