Case study

How Jackie’s passion for helping others has led to a new career

Jackie Ingram found a new passion of caring for others after her mother became unwell. Jackie gave up her job as payroll officer at New Scotland Yard to care for her mum full time. After her mum died, Jackie took that new-found caring passion and enrolled on our online Integrative Health and Social Care (Top-Up) BSc (Hons) course. She is now helping run a rehabilitation unit for challenging patients.

Re-assessing the future

A year after Jackie gave up work to look after her mother, her sister also became unwell. Sadly, she lost both her mum and her sister in the space of five years. “My world was shattered," she explains. "And this is the very reason I went into working in health and social care and developed my passion for caring for others."

Jackie is now caring for people who have dementia, have had strokes or are alcoholics and she helps people with mental health problems. This is a completely different path from the one she originally set out on.

“I started volunteering and after a week I knew that this was what I wanted to do," she says. "I love interacting and getting to know the patients as everyone is different. The Managing Director noticed my passion and made me a permanent staff member.”

Deciding on a course

Online learning was the best option for Jackie because she works full time. Jackie says: “I went online and found out about the course. I read the write up and made a call to ask some further questions. I got through to Maureen Bird and she was helpful and supportive and reassured me about the course.

“I chose to study the Integrative Health and Social Care (Top-Up) BSc (Hons) course online because it worked around my shift patterns as well as my lifestyle. I could work through the course at my own pace and there were no exams, which was great because I have a fear of taking exams and going totally blank.

“When I hear people talk about their university experience, I always think that the experience I received sounds much better than other universities.”

Online student Jackie Ingram sat at her desk working

UDOL support

Jackie knew that studying online with the University of Derby Online Learning was the right place for her. She says: “Tutors would tell us to ask as many questions as we wanted, offer reassurance and, no matter what time you asked a question, you would get a response. It was outstanding. Everyone was so lovely and even students supported each other in modules and pulled together as a team.

“I strongly believe I can and will make a difference in society with what I have learned throughout my studies. I also believe that the likes of Dr Pauline Green, Dr Christine Rhodes, Dr Geraldine Lyte and the rest of the team have inspired and motivated me immensely to successfully complete the programme. I cannot find any words that best describe the teaching I had by all of my lecturers, it was something I never thought I could experience and I can only describe it as a cut above the rest.

“There is absolutely no doubt in my mind in letting others know of my studying experience with the University of Derby Online Learning. I will be forever grateful and will always respect my tutors for the rest of my life for making me so proud and inspiring me the way they did, making my dreams come true. I came with zero confidence and now I am a university graduate, with the sky being the limit for me now!

“It has left me feeling like doing my masters as I miss doing my weekly course work and working with my peers."

Career impact

For Jackie, her course has impacted greatly on her career. She says: “My confidence has increased tremendously, I now speak with confidence and authority. I now know what is needed to lead and make informed decisions.

“I am now running the unit with the head manager and work with severe-challenging-behaviour patients that I would not have been able to do if I did not have the experience of studying my course.

“I have benefited in prioritising my workload, looking after myself first, not feeling as stressed as I did, delegating workload evenly among the team and having more time to do the important things such as report writing and making changes to care plans.”

Looking to the future, Jackie’s goal is to get a senior manager position that is in line with her degree. She says: “My experience of my studies was wonderful. I have learned a lot and that puts me in a better position to pursue my career further.”

Inspiring others

Jackie doesn’t want to stop at just helping others, she wants to motivate others to make a positive impact on people’s lives. She explains: “I’d love to inspire others to take up a career in looking after people, making a difference in the community, making the frail, the elderly, the young and those with learning disabilities have a voice. They must be heard, respected, and cared for.”

In her workplace, Jackie wants to inspire her staff to take on challenges, work hard for promotions and deliver good working practice. She says: “I want to be a good role model for others to follow, inspiring others to be proactive and professional at all times.

“I am now encouraging staff in my workplace that I see have the drive and potential to put it into practice by doing a health and social care course online.”

Teacher with children undertaking a colouring activity

Our online health and social care courses

We want to help develop your professional practice, so you can improve outcomes for patients. Our courses range from single modules to diplomas and degrees.

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