My NHS apprenticeship 12 years on

hospital ward

Richard Agan, Senior Medical Electronics Technician at Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, reflects on how the apprenticeship he started in 2007 enabled him to develop skills and confidence that helped to build his career.

I began my career with the National Health Service in 2007 as an apprentice medical electronics technician. Ten years later I was still working in the NHS and had progressed to the role of senior medical electronics technician.

Originally I decided to apply for an apprenticeship as I was not the greatest academic achiever in school. I thought that an apprenticeship would be a great way to start earning money while learning a trade, and better than being stuck in a classroom staring at a white board. 

My apprenticeship lasted for four years and during this time I attended college one day a week. The rest of my time was based in the hospital learning how to repair and service all kinds of medical equipment such as patient monitors, ECG machines, defibrillators, incubators and a host of other devices. Working on equipment that would be used to save someone‚Äôs life was scary at first, but gaining knowledge in this hands-on way suited my style of learning and helped to increase my confidence. 

The apprenticeship provided me with a huge range of skills and knowledge which I have built on to gain a senior position that involves working on complex medical devices. Although I qualified in 2011 I still continue to learn as every day is different and produces different challenges but I find it very rewarding to know that as part of the NHS I am helping to deliver care to patients. 

As an employer, the NHS has supported my development with additional training to further my skills, and opportunities for career progression. For me, apprenticeships are an ideal way to gain qualifications and I would recommend them to anyone wishing to gain the skills and experience that can support their career.

If you would like to find out how apprenticeships can help develop the careers of your staff, please visit NHS Apprenticeships.

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