Just over two years since The Open University's Healthcare Assistant Practitioner Apprenticeship (HAP) was launched, Claire Parker becomes the first apprentice to pass her End-Point Assessment (EPA) and successfully complete the programme.
Claire, who started as a practice receptionist 27 years ago before progressing into a Healthcare Assistant role, jumped at the opportunity the HAP apprenticeship presented.
Reflecting on her experience of studying the apprenticeship, Claire said, “I love working with service users, families and carers. Making a difference to their health and wellbeing is very rewarding. At first, I found it all overwhelming as I had never studied through distance learning before. Juggling study, work and home life was at times stressful. Having a support network of family, work colleagues and OU tutors was a great help in supporting me through this challenging and rewarding OU course.”
Now, as the first OU student to successfully complete the apprenticeship, Claire said, "It was an incredible feeling; I never thought or believed I would achieve a degree or even study at university level at this stage of my life! Not only has it given me a huge confidence boost, but it has opened doors, creating opportunities to further my career."
Barbara Cochee, Claire’s Staff Tutor, comments, “It has been a delight having Claire as a student on the Higher Apprenticeship in Healthcare Practice programme. She should be commended for her success and in becoming the very first student to complete this qualification. I feel sure she will be an absolute credit to both her employer, and all of her patients in her new role as Assistant Practitioner”.
Dr. Verina Waights, Co-qualification Director for FD Healthcare Practice/Nursing Associate Practice, and Ruth Beretta, Nursing Staff Tutor, were Co-qualification Directors leading the production of the Healthcare Assistant Practitioner Apprenticeship. Verina adds, "I am so proud of seeing our first HAP apprentice reach the end of our programme. It is so rewarding to see Claire gain a Merit in her EPA; true recognition of all her hard work and commitment."
Claire hopes to go on to top-up her studies with the OU to become a Registered Nurse.
To find out more about our nursing programmes and apprenticeships, visit our website.