Pandemic pressures push Kirsty into a new career

Kirsty Williams is one of our Access to Higher Education learners. She is currently on our Nursing and Midwifery course, with a focus on Adult Care. Kirsty decided to do this course after working in a nursing home during the pandemic. She enjoyed taking on the new roles at the time and wanted to learn more. Kirsty has come back into education as a mother with a newborn, she is determined to carry on studying to make sure she can enrol for university in the coming months.

Kirsty williams, access to HE - nursing and midwifery student

Coming back into education as a mature student.

“I initially did my Level 2 Health and Social Care, Pre-Access course, which really helped me. I have been out of education for so long, I didn’t have a clue about referencing etc. I did my GCSE Maths and English alongside that course too, which I passed thankfully. Level 2 really prepared me for Level 3, it was a great introduction to the sector. The Level 3 course has flown by, it’s only a year and all of us have said how much we have enjoyed doing it.”

Progression plan: University.

“I will hopefully be going to university in September. Nine weeks ago I gave birth so I might defer until March 2024, but the plan is to start in September at Derby University as it’s close to home.”

Working in a nursing home during the Pandemic.

“I was inspired to do the Health and Social Care course from my career path. I have been a carer since I was 18, but never thought about doing nursing as I never thought I was good enough or clever enough. It was during the pandemic that it came to fruition. There was a lot less staff as people were isolating and there were so many things that we ended up taking on that we hadn’t been trained to do. It was completely out of my comfort zone. I thought If I can do that, under all that pressure, without the training, then I can do the nursing course.”

Learning about the human body.

“I really enjoy biology modules. We have just done a reproduction module that I really enjoyed, it was pretty interesting seeing as I have just had a baby. Even though I want to do adult nursing, it’s interesting to find out how everything works in the body still. I am keeping my options open on what setting I want to work in, I will see how I get on with the placements at university. All I’ve known is looking after the elderly so I want to keep my options open.”

End-of-life care.

“The ideal career for me would be in end-of-life care. It’s a massive part of my role now and I enjoy supporting patients and family members in their end-of-life journey. However, I have done that for 16 years so I might be due a change.”

The college has been so supportive.

“The support from college has been amazing. I have been completely open with college, letting my tutors know that I was pregnant. the support has been unbelievable, they have set up things so I can work from home, so I’ve not missed out. I have only had a couple of weeks off with my baby but I was still on teams. They have put as much effort in for me as I have them. I thought coming back to college was going to be scary but honestly, it’s the best thing I have done and I wish I did it years ago.”

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