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Crinicia Villafranca - Laboratory Technician, Level 3

Crinicia applied for this apprenticeship to get practical knowledge and experience which universities don’t offer.

She chose CUH because it is well reputed and known to be one of best teaching hospitals for medicine and the Allied Health Professions.

Crinicia feels that an apprenticeship is a great opportunity for someone who is looking for a career in science, as you can work your way up and get the best possible training from senior professionals working in the Trust.

Crinicia Villafranca in a lab

What does a typical day look like in your role?

My general working day in my department involves patient interaction, typing up reports, assisting the Reproductive Technologists with diagnostic and post vasectomy semen analyses, sperm freeze and doing the stock audit. I also get regular training from my senior colleagues to keep track of my competencies on my training folder.

What do you enjoy about your role?

I enjoy interacting with patients and being able to support the team with the analyses we perform in the lab, like performing macroscopic observations and training under the microscope. I feel like I am constantly learning from carrying out these tasks and it’s something that I benefit from a lot.

What sorts of things do you do for the off-the-job learning aspect of your apprenticeship and does this involve attending college, or is it all completed at work?

Training, attending webinars, shadowing colleagues, completion of assignments and research within my working or study days. This could be learning anything that is relevant to the apprenticeship standards you’re working towards.

I attend college one day a week and all of the above can be obtained from college and a working day, depending on what the task is as long as it’s completed within the normal working hours.

What are your future intentions?

Upon completion of my apprenticeship, I plan to apply for the Biomedical Science Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship – this would enable me to be a qualified Reproductive Technologist and be eligible for further training in the future.

What advice would you give to others who may be looking to take on an apprenticeship?

My advice would be to go for it! Get your research done and see if it’s something you think you’d enjoy doing. Apprenticeships are for everyone, there are a wide range of options available on offer and it’s worth considering.

If you are someone like me, who is passionate about sciences and wanted to gain hands-on experience within your chosen field whilst studying, it is a great way to utilise your knowledge and get your foot in the door of the healthcare sector.

The main theme of this year’s National Apprenticeship Week is skills for life. What are the most important skills for life that you have developed in your role?

There are so many things I’ve learnt along the way with this apprenticeship journey that have helped me to develop a good work ethic, but the most important ones in my opinion would be teamwork, technical knowledge and discipline.

Being on a scientific team has improved my interpersonal skills to support my colleagues and patients whilst allowing me to learn from other’s experiences that have led to my personal growth.

My technical knowledge has made me efficient to provide the backbone of what we do and understand the science behind my job role.

Lastly is discipline; it’s an attitude that you’ve got to have to be able to meet the demands for working and studying!