Today I am going to talk about what can happen in my everyday life at work as an apprentice support worker in a home with people with learning difficulties and complex needs such as autism.
Some people think that an apprenticeship isn’t as good as a ‘normal’ job and for some people this might be true, but I think that an apprenticeship gives you more opportunities to reach higher levels so that you can achieve more.
So, this is how it happened….
Before I got my apprenticeship, I went to college but came out as I didn’t really enjoy it. I thought that I was a bit lost as I didn’t have a job or any way of getting an education in the kind of work that I wanted to do in health sector, so that’s why I started looking at apprenticeships.
I searched for apprenticeships through ‘Indeed’. I applied for a couple and got an answer back almost straight away from the company that I work for now. They asked me to send some information in and I had to complete a DBS check and then they invited me in for an interview the following week. I had only been home for an hour after the interview when I received an email saying that I got the job!
I was so happy about this as I felt like I achieved something good and I believed that it was going to be an amazing job to do.
My day typically looks like this:
I work shifts and because I’m under 18, there are rules around how many hours and how these are worked. I am allowed to do 37.5 hours maximum per week and only 2 hours of overtime each week. I must have 12 hours between each shift so that I won’t be constantly tired at work which could affect my performance while working with the service users that I support.
Each of my shifts are 7.5 hours. When I do a late I am not allowed to do an early the next morning. Also because of my age I am not allowed to do any overnight shifts nor double shifts (which would be 07:00–22.00).
I have learnt so much while being in this apprenticeship. I have done lots of training so far – after each training I get a certificate that qualifies me in the subject of the training. I have done training in Emergency First Aid and training about diabetes – learning from a professional about blood glucose and how you would find out what a person’s blood glucose is, and how to inject insulin in the right way.
I have also been trained about epilepsy and how to use Midazolam – a drug used for emergency management of prolonged seizures that people with epilepsy might have.
Me and other members of staff have to deal with a lot of challenging physical behaviours within our shifts and we have do special training that is called ‘Strategies for Crisis Intervention and Prevention’ (SCIP) to help us understand how to deal with these behaviours practically, such as doing a ‘front arm catch’, or ‘touch support’, or if it’s really tricky, a ‘1-2 person escort.’ Sometimes Service Users have to be sent out into the garden with a member of staff so that they can calm down and wouldn’t be allowed back into the building until they are calm. When they come back in I normally make them a cup of tea or put a movie on in their room (which is what some service users enjoy doing) so as to help them to remain calm.
Services users are not always challenging – they can be so intelligent and funny. We sometimes do arts and crafts with them – they can be so creative. Sometimes we will go out on drives with service users or go shopping or out for lunch so it can be quite fun.
I really enjoy where I work and I feel like I am doing really well there and I feel that I am achieving more and learning more every day. I feel that for me, doing an apprenticeship has been a very good choice.