George Grinham - Apprentice Nurse

George Grinham

We have supported healthcare support workers looking to increase their skills and train as nurses for several years through a partnership with the Open University. This system has now been formalised into an apprenticeship programme – and George is one of the very first people to embark on this journey.

“I’m excited about all of the things I’m going to learn, see and experience during the apprenticeship,” he said. “They say that the things you experience as a student, you’ll never experience again because you get to see things from a different perspective.

“I’m also really excited that come the end of the programme, I’ll be a registered nurse. That is a real thrill for me and something I’m desperately looking forward to.”

George Grinham - Hand WashGeorge had been working as a healthcare support worker in the Diagnosis and Treatment Centre (DTC) at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital, helping surgeons to carry out a wide range of planned operations and procedures.

“When I was younger, I picked up some serious injuries playing football and needed to have my knee reconstructed on two occasions,” the 19-year-old explained. “I was always mesmerised by what the surgeons were able to do and that made me realise that I’d like to work in healthcare.

“I’ve also always enjoyed helping people, but going down the traditional route of studying a nursing degree at university just didn’t appeal to me. I really enjoy working and learning on the job and would rather do that than study full time.

“I initially thought that it would be good to get some experience by working before possibly studying, but when I heard about the apprenticeship programme, I knew it would be perfect for me. Getting paid and learning on the job really appealed to me, plus I really enjoy working here and wouldn’t have wanted to leave.”

George, who is 19 and lives in Basingstoke, continues to spend two days a week working in the DTC as a healthcare support worker, but the rest of his time at the hospital is dedicated to his training.

George Grinham - Equipment (2)He spends two days a week as a nurse apprentice, learning additional duties normally performed by nurses, such as checking equipment and assisting surgeons in the operating theatre under the supervision of his more experienced colleagues. He also spends one day a week away from his working environment, watching online lectures and studying in the library.

“I’m really enjoying the apprenticeship,” he said. “The transition from healthcare support worker to nurse apprentice took some getting used to but the whole team have been really supportive and are keen to help me.”

As the apprenticeship goes on, George will spend time away from the DTC and carry out placements in other areas including the emergency department, maternity and in the community.

He said: “I love working in operating theatres, so I’m really enjoying getting the chance to experience more things in that environment, but I’m really looking forward to working in the emergency department as well because I really like the variety it offers. You never know what is going to come through the door next.”

He may have only just begun his journey, but George already has a pretty clear idea of the direction in which he would like to progress his career, setting his sights on becoming a senior nurse in the field of trauma and orthopaedic surgery.

He added: “Nursing is particularly rewarding because you get to support a patient throughout their journey and see them go home feeling better. That is the best part, seeing patients progress through their treatment.”

Updated 7 March 2018