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Become a healthcare hero
While the government is putting more resources into care services nationally, we thought it was the perfect time to speak to our health and care pathway tutor, Mish Wilks to find out more about the pathway and what career opportunities it leads onto…
Name: Mish Wilks
Occupation: Health and Care Tutor
How many take the health and care pathway?
Approximately a quarter of all our learners take the health and care pathway here at The Academy Grimsby. It shows just how popular it is as a potential career path!
What are the main motivators for learners wishing to take the health and care pathway?
Most of our learners are already considering a job in the health and care sector when they decide to take the pathway.
I think one of the main motivators for learners is that whilst you might start out on the same course as friends and peers, the directions you can take as your career progresses are limitless. We frequently speak students who are looking to set out in a career in midwifery, nursing, childcare and social work. There’s nothing our learners can’t do!
What sort of modules and what kind of things can students expect to learn/cover on the pathway?
The pathway is really varied – another reason why it’s so popular. From human lifespan development – which covers understanding of how the body grows and develops throughout all life stages and factors that can affect growth and development – to health and social care values, understanding, the importance of respect, dignity, safeguarding, positive communication, anti-discriminatory practice, empowering and promoting independence, we cover a lot.
We also cover health and well-being – which is really important – looking at life in general and lifestyles such as smoking, drinking alcohol, drug misuse, personal hygiene, sleep, exercise and how this affects life chances, illness and self-esteem.
Our health promotion module gives learners a chance to explore how to promote health and well-being – looking at campaigns, adverts and national strategies such as screening and prevention to improve the nation’s health. Of particular interest is our mental health awareness module, which investigates what mental health is and factors that may cause mental health to deteriorate.
Importantly, we teach learners how to put these skills into practice in real life environments, so they feel prepared when they move onto the next stage.
What are some of your ex-learners doing in the health and care industry?
Some of our learners have gone on to study Level 3 health and care, one is a carer in a care home and another is working within a GP surgery.
What makes the pathway so special?
Nationally, the current situation has emphasised how important health and social care services are in the UK. There is an increasing demand on nursing and mental health services, so this particular pathway has so much to offer in terms of learning, including practical sessions in our industry-standard facilities and future career prospects.
What would you say to anyone considering the pathway?
Now is the time to go for it! The government is putting more money into health and care services and as part of that, there’s a nationwide recruitment drive, looking for more specialists with knowledge and skills. This is a great time to enrol and be a part of the future healthcare heroes.
Many large employers – including the NHS – have been challenged to increase the number of apprenticeships they offer to meet workforce demand, so we can expect to see a significant number of opportunities emerge in the next few years too.
What do you love most about teaching the health and care pathway?
So many things! Watching the learners develop their skills, the enthusiasm they have, watching them putting their learnt skills into practice and of course, when they achieve their qualifications at the end of the two years. It’s great when they keep in touch to let me know what they’ve been doing. It’s priceless.