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Five apprenticeships that will launch your healthcare career

Are you interested in pursuing a role in healthcare but don’t want to go to university? Do you prefer learning on the job, rather than just from textbooks?

You might want to consider healthcare apprenticeships. They let you become a healthcare professional while you earn a salary. You split your time between work and college. Here are five healthcare roles you can do on an apprenticeship.

1. Healthcare science assistant

On this healthcare science apprenticeship, you’ll train to become a healthcare science assistant. You will carry out technical and scientific procedures in hospitals and GP clinics in order to provide support for doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals.

It’s an intermediate (level 2) apprenticeship which takes at least 12 months to complete; the average is 18 months. Your tasks might include keeping records, basic life support, preparing rooms for different scientific procedures, and gathering data.

Learn more: What skills do I need for a career in health?

This apprenticeship is for people who are compassionate, honest, conscientious and committed. At the end you’ll have a Level 2 diploma in healthcare science.

Note: there are two other healthcare science apprenticeship options: the level 4 healthcare science associate (higher) and the level 6 healthcare science practitioner (degree).

2. Midwife

Midwives care for the woman, her baby and the family

This degree (level 6) apprenticeship usually takes around 4 years to compete. You’ll train as a midwife, giving support and care to women during pregnancy, labour and after giving birth. You’ll study towards a midwifery degree while learning on the job. A midwife may work in the community such as in a woman’s home, community hubs, GP surgeries, clinics, midwife-led units and birth centres or in hospital maternity units.

Learn more: Sara explains what being a midwife is really like

The central role of a midwife is to be the main contact for a woman and her family, giving advice throughout pregnancy and after the birth. They’re also responsible for facilitating births and looking after the newborn baby. They also have an important role in public health, giving health counselling and education to the woman but also the family and wider community.  

Midwives need excellent communication skills, as well as empathy and tact in dealing with stressful or sensitive situations. The entry requirements for this apprenticeship are set by the university providing the midwifery degree.

3. Podiatrist

This four-year degree healthcare apprenticeship trains you to become a podiatrist. These are healthcare professionals who specialise in the feet, ankles and legs. Their job is to diagnose and treat a range of issues that affect the lower limbs. They also give preventative advice, in an effort to help people keep their independence and mobility.

Read more: 7 jobs in health and social care you could do

The everyday tasks of a podiatrist might include assessing patients; agreeing treatment plans with the patient; treating musculoskeletal conditions, pain and wounds; and keeping records. To apply for this apprenticeship, you’ll usually need three A-levels. The personal qualities employers look for are confidence, compassion, honesty and a caring approach. You will complete the apprenticeship with a BSc in podiatry.

4. Associate ambulance practitioner

Associate ambulance practitioners provide emergency care

Healthcare apprenticeships also include the associate ambulance practitioner role. On this higher apprenticeship, you’ll learn how to respond to 999 calls and give emergency care to people as part of an ambulance crew. It typically takes between 12 and 18 months to complete.

Your tasks would include providing urgent assistance to people, and driving an ambulance safely at speed. They assess and treat patients at the scene and then refer them to hospital if needed. Excellent communication and problem-solving skills are crucial for this role.

Read: How to become a paramedic

Entry requirements may include a fitness test and a full driving license. By the end you’ll have a Level 2 Award in Ambulance Driving; Level 3 Certificate in Emergency Response Driving; and a Level 4 Diploma in Associate Ambulance Practitioner.

5. Healthcare support worker

Healthcare support workers give high-quality and compassionate health and social care to a range of people. This is a level 2 intermediate apprenticeship which usually takes 12 months to complete.

Healthcare support workers are part of a team. Their clinical duties might include monitoring someone’s condition by checking blood pressure, temperature and weight.

 Depending on where you work, you may also help them to eat, drink, wash, dress or go to the toilet.  You would also carry out non-clinical duties which might include things like keeping records, making beds, tidying up your work area, returning or cleaning the equipment used during a clinical activity.

Read next: Health and social care apprenticeships

Main image by rawpixel.com via Freepik; associate ambulance practitioner and newborn baby via Pexels