My name is Lisa and I work in prosthetics and orthotics at Woodend Hospital MARS Department and I have just completed my Modern Apprenticeship for prosthetic and orthotic technician.
I first heard about the apprenticeship through a family member of mine, who had seen the job advertised and had told me that it was a perfect job for me and that I absolutely should go for it.
It included all my skills and all my interests, so that's when I decided to apply for it.
I decided to do this apprenticeship because it included learning on the job.
It included gaining a qualification in mechanical engineering level 6 and it also included making complex jobs for patients which are really interesting.
You learn so much on the job.
The apprenticeship has helped me achieve so much already in my confidence, my ability to multitask incredibly, and it will help me with my future goals.
My typical day is quite busy in the workshop.
I will do an array of tasks, be it draping plastic, to manufacturing a prosthesis for a patient, doing repairs.
Sometimes I get asked to go into clinics to have a technical input, or I might help hoist a patient if that is required as well.
There is many different things that we'll see in a day and it's always busy.
Sometimes I find myself in a plaster room helping fix casts and sometimes I will be helping with paperwork, so it just depends on what each day brings, but every day is different.
I organised my time between work and studying within my apprenticeship by ensuring the day that I had been at college, or had been online learning, to carry on from that in the evening and try and make sure that the tasks that I had for that day, I'd be trying to complete them that day.
If not, maybe take a day off, two days off, but try and make sure that I studied at least twice a week so that I was keeping things fresh in my mind and not cramming things in it last minute, because if I try to do that then I would always, always get things wrong.
So, try and be prepared and it's ok to ask lots of questions, especially your peers in your class.
I was constantly asking questions to my college mates and asking if they understood it.
Sometimes they would describe it in a different way that they learned and we would get there together.
The only thing I wish I knew before the apprenticeship started is that sometimes it can be a bit daunting with the college work, and the work and learning these disciplines, because it was across three services that I did my apprenticeship.
It's quite a lot of information to take on at the time, so I wish I knew to ask as much questions as possible and that people are ok with you asking questions and to take my time.
Nothing should be a rush to try and get it right, and also that you don't know how far you can take your apprenticeship.
You can go as far as you want with it and people will support you.
I've been nominated for apprentice of the year within NESCol and hopefully that will be a good outcome.
So, that's showing me that you really don't know what you can achieve.
The thing I like most about my job is being able to create these wonderful devices.
They will make a change, they'll make an impact on people's lives and it will benefit them massively.
And, I also enjoy seeing patients when I can, to see how the devices fit that I've made for them and especially the paediatric patients.
And, they're always really excited if they've got a lovely print on their splints, or you know, it's a wee Spiderman, they love it.
So yeah, it's it's lovely to see.
The advice that I would give anyone that is thinking about applying for an apprenticeship in the NHS is look at what apprenticeship that you are thinking of and think is your skills appropriate for that apprenticeship, and if so then find out as much as you can.
Speak to the department if you can, to find out more information and go for it because I have enjoyed my apprenticeship thoroughly throughout my three years and I feel like I've come away with a great career and something that I'm going to carry on for hopefully as long as I can.