Sarah Bannister - FdSc Professional Development / Higher Apprenticeship

Why did you choose to study the apprenticeship at Derby?

I worked as a dental nurse for six years and felt I had reached my full potential and ready for a new challenge. I was looking for somewhere where I could study and apply the skills I gained in a professional clinical environment. I applied for the apprenticeship and got a position as a trainee assistant practitioner, specialising in maxillofacial surgery.

What have been your highlights?

Working as a trainee practitioner in an operating theatre environment allows me to do the scrub role. As an apprentice I get to scrub-in for cases that range from day case surgery, trauma surgery and big oncology (cancer) cases. Being a part of a team that can help make a patient’s life easier is very rewarding. I love that every day is different and there is always something new to learn.

What would you say to anyone thinking of studying the apprenticeship at the University of Derby?

Working whilst attending university can be challenging but it is the perfect balance of study and experience if you haven’t worked in a hospital environment before. I get to learn the skills required for my particular area throughout the week and then expand on those skills and knowledge at university.

What are the most important skills you’ve learnt from this apprenticeship?

My class is built up of students and lecturers from other areas of the NHS which helps us all learn from each other and share our own skills and knowledge amongst the group. We also base some of our research for assignments on our specialisms, which helps me look into conditions I may often face in the workplace.

What are your future plans and how do you think your apprenticeship will help you achieve them?

At the end of my apprenticeship I will have gained a foundation degree science in professional development (health and social care). This can help me in the future to apply for further study opportunities, such as nursing. This apprenticeship has given me the confidence personally and academically within my own practice.

Find out more about the course

Sarah Bannister “The higher apprenticeship is giving me the challenge I need academically and personally. I have seen myself become more confident and gained skills that I wouldn’t be able to in a classroom.”