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Holly Pretious - Occupational Therapist (Integrated Degree) Level 6

Holly is currently working as an Occupational Therapy Assistant whilst studying for her degree apprenticeship.

She chose to do her apprenticeship at CUH because she felt it was the best option for her as she would gain experience from her everyday job role, as well as any placements she had during her course.

Her cohort are of different ages and backgrounds and at different stages in their career, which means that they can share their knowledge and experiences with each other to improve their learning.

Holly also likes the fact that completing an apprenticeship means that you are able to have a salary throughout the degree plus it gives her the extra experience which you may not get when going down the regular university route, and you get lots of flexibility

Holly Pretious  Occupational Therapist   (Integrated Degree) Level 6

What does a typical day look like in your role?

I start my job at 8am and go through the patients I have on my list for that day. I am delegated tasks from the qualified Occupational Therapists for different activities to do with the patients to keep them active, and prevent things such as deconditioning (losing strength due to inactivity).

These tasks vary depending on the patient, as we have lots of different types referred to us, whether it be that they’ve had a stroke, fall, brain injury, been in a car accident, become unwell and frail, or any other issues. I also assess patients as part of my apprenticeship, meaning that I am the first person from the department to see them, working out what their needs are, how we can help them, and what they would like to gain out of their sessions with us.

My day can often involve ordering different types of equipment to be delivered to a patient’s home once they are discharged. This can be things such as equipment to help them stand, a special seat to make a toilet higher and easier to get on and off, or a standing aid to help someone be able to stand up.

What do you enjoy about your role?

I enjoy the fact that no two days are the same, which makes the job more exciting. I also love that I am able to see the difference I am making in people’s lives on a daily basis.

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?

I watch lectures online which have been posted onto our student page, meaning I am able to watch these whenever I find the time. I also attend Coventry University every Monday to take part in workshops to solidify my learning from the online lectures I watched prior to this. This means that I am able to make friends from my class who are in the apprenticeship with me, which is really beneficial.

What are your future intentions?

I intend to become a qualified Occupational Therapist and slowly progress my way up, gaining lots of experience in different settings on the way.

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

If you are looking into an apprenticeship, I would say get as much experience as you can in the sector you wish to go into. This will be a massive benefit to you as it means that you can see what day to day life is in the profession, helping you decide if it is really what you want to do.

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?

To name a few, I would say communication, empathy, kindness, excellence, confidence, teamwork and patience.