Eduardo Rocha was a mechanical engineer in Portugal before moving to England almost a decade ago in 2013.
After working a few different jobs in factories and translation services, he joined Royal Papworth Hospital as a housekeeper before becoming a healthcare support worker.
Later this year, he hopes to qualify as a registered nurse.
What has been your journey so far at Royal Papworth Hospital?
I worked as a housekeeper/cleaner in the cystic fibrosis unit at Royal Papworth before I was given the chance to start as a healthcare support worker in the same ward, which I then did for a couple of years.
In 2018 I was then given the chance to begin a nursing associate apprenticeship, which I passed.
Last year, I took the next step in my career and started my nursing top-up apprenticeship. I am due to finish this is November 2022 and that will mean I am a registered staff nurse. At least, that is the plan!
What does a typical day look like in your role?
Every day brings different challenges and I like that. From administering medication, performing clinical procedures, supporting patients with daily activities, working closely with the multidisciplinary team, as a nursing associate we have to multi task, just like a nurse does.
What do you enjoy about your role?
The aspect I like the most is the close contact I have with my patients. The feeling, at the end of the day, that the care I provided helped someone feeling better is very rewarding.
What sorts of things do you do for the 20% off-the-job learning aspect of your apprenticeship?
I tend to use this time in learning skills / knowledge specific to my ward, mostly spending time with our continuing professional development nurse. I have also spent some time with other professionals of the multi-disciplinary team which gives me more skills and knowledge.
Does this involve attending college or is it all completed at work?
Only in very specific cases we attend college at the moment due to COVID-19 restrictions. We do go there for things like university mandatory training, or specific skills such as venepuncture/ cannulation, etc.
What are your future intentions?
It is a little early to tell, as there are many experiences I am yet to have in other aspects of patient care. Short term objectives, I want to improve knowledge and skills and become a confident nurse on my ward. There are areas I feel more interested in, but I will give it time to mature into a solid opinion.
What advice would you give to others who may be looking to take on an apprenticeship or progress their careers?
If you look at someone and think ‘I would enjoy doing that’ and ‘I think I would be good doing that’, just give yourself a chance and try. You will get a lot of support from the education team at Royal Papworth Hospital. You can do it!
Join our Healthcare Support Worker Recruitment Day on Saturday 12 March and, like Eduardo, you too could be supported to progress your career.