“I used to work in management, but a few years ago my son came to stay with me as a single parent. I couldn’t maintain the hours I was doing in the management role, so I took a step back and took a job as a cook in Abbotsford Care Home in Newburgh.
“While working as a cook, I took on a few extra shifts as a carer, and it was then I decided that I wanted to pursue a career in nursing.
“Because I’m a bit older, I thought it would be difficult to go straight to university, so I decided to take the college route.
“I found studying HNC: Care and Admin Practice at the College to be a great experience. The lecturers were supportive and I didn’t find the workload on the course overly strenuous. I was able to work part-time while studying and being on placement.
“I enjoyed the placements on the course. The nurses that were my mentors were supportive, too, which helped me to gain confidence in the work I was doing – and I was also able to take that confidence into the work I’m doing at the Home.
“As a carer in a care home, on a day to day basis I mainly deal with the personal care of residents. This includes assisting with tasks that they find difficult on their own; getting them dressed, help with eating, showering and bathing, and just being a friend for them – it’s important to the residents to have someone to talk to.
“I would absolutely recommend going back to college. It’s never too late – at 43 I made the decision to go back and I think I’ve done quite well! The lecturers and staff are all very supportive and you’ll gain the skills and confidence you need for your next step.”