Student achieves NHS dream

30th April 2020

After working in finance for six years, Amy Laing took a leap of faith to make a transformative career change.

Currently studying a health and care apprenticeship at Leeds City College, she has fulfilled her lifetime ambition of working in the NHS as a Level 2 apprentice clinical support worker.

We spoke with her to uncover her inspiring passion to help others and understand how her course helped her achieve this.

What sparked your passion?

I had always longed to work in a caring profession, but the training fees were too expensive. Although I worked in the financial sector for many years, I knew I would be much more fulfilled as a nurse. 

I left my job, enrolled on the college course and gained a place on the NHS apprenticeship for clinical support workers – this was the perfect starting point.

How did you prepare for the current unprecedented situation?

I am included in the 1,500,000 people in a highly vulnerable category, meaning I am unable to work at the hospital for the next 12 weeks minimum. I was really disappointed to not be able to go to the hospital and help people, but understand the precautions as I am at a high risk.

What challenges are you facing and how are you overcoming these?

I am finding it tough mentally, as I’m unable to work alongside my colleagues and provide care to people who really need it. I do feel guilty as I feel fine at the moment, but am unable to go to work or leave the house whatsoever.

To keep myself busy, I have requested additional college work to complete during self-isolation. I’m also looking at learning a new language to allow me to speak to patients who aren’t from the UK.

What is your current day like?

College work is a great way to provide structure to my day. I often research, write and complete work which develops my understanding. I regularly check in with family and friends as it really improves morale when speaking to other people. I’m also looking into volunteering from home so I can do my bit and help people.

What advice would you give to someone considering nursing?

Although working environments are always fast paced and high pressured, you adapt, learn and do the best you can. You go to work, laugh, cry, but carry on and do what is required for your patients and always go the extra mile for them. Since starting this role, I’ve discovered an inner strength to be brave and hold the hand of patients who are suffering. The chance to really make an impact on someone’s life is phenomenal and you can become a rock for many families and patients. 

It’s important to find humour in the small things at work as this is a good coping mechanism. The colleagues I work with are exceptional; we all understand what each other is going through and constantly support each other.

Do you have a message of motivation through these challenging times?

You are enough. You can do this. You will do this and come out of it much stronger than when you started. Show up, glove up, gown up and don’t give up!

To find out more about the range of courses at Leeds City College, click here.

Leeds City College