A 39-year-old man from Harrow has described his apprenticeship as life-changing in recent comments provided by the Clementine Churchill Hospital.
Mark Lickely began his career in healthcare 10 years ago as an assistant in operating theatres. Mark, 39, from Harrow, was looking for a way to progress in his career, while also balancing a full-time job and family.
Mark soon discovered that an apprenticeship might be the answer…
“I loved my work as a healthcare assistant, but after 10 years I was looking for the next challenge. I needed to find a way to become an Operating Department Practitioner (ODP). It was the next step in my career,” said Mark.
Mark began looking at the options available to him, but with a young family, it would be difficult to take time away from work. Following a conversation with his manager, Mark was able to enrol on an apprenticeship course supported by his employer The Clementine Churchill Hospital, in Harrow.
Mark commented on the start of his apprenticeship journey: “I was drawn to the opportunity as it ticked every box. I could continue working and earning but was able to train alongside. I received a lot of support from my colleagues who taught me the practical side of anaesthetics, scrub and recovery.”
He went on to say, “It can be stressful in operating theatres, but my mentors were incredibly supportive and patient with me. Michael Chua, the anaesthetic lead at the hospital, took time to discuss my writing and appraisals after each placement I completed. Throughout all the ups and downs I was helped and encouraged to fulfil my dream.”
The apprenticeship was not without its challenges. Mark explained that “It was a challenge to balance the demands of academic writing, work and family. But once I got into a rhythm with it and my first couple of assignments were handed in, it became more manageable. You just have to keep focused and remember why you are doing it.”
Mark successfully completed his apprenticeship and qualified as an ODP at The Clementine Churchill Hospital. He now supports patients at the hospital, working closely with doctors before, during and after an operation.
When asked how it felt to complete the apprenticeship, Mark said: “I felt a huge sense of achievement once I finished. It took a long time and there were ups and downs but the sense of gratitude I have for the opportunity that was offered to me is beyond words. I feel real pride in being able to take an active role in patient care.”
The hope for Mark is to keep building on his experience and one day help mentor students and other healthcare professionals like him.
Mark added, “doing an apprenticeship changed my life for the better. It has not only provided me with a better income but the skills, experience and qualifications to really make a difference to the patients I see every day.”