Work Experience placements are an integral part of BTEC/CTEC courses and, at Xaverian College, students spend a week with employers to put into practice what they learn in the classroom. Alfa Djau, aged 17 years from Salford, recently spent a week in a GP’s surgery to complete his work experience placement, and made such an impact that he received glowing feedback from everybody in the organisation that he worked with.
Former Oasis Academy MediaCityUK student, Alfa, chose Xaverian College due to its reputation of being an excellent college and one that would help him progress into his chosen career. He was interested in Health and Social Care, Business and IT at school, but when it came to making his college choices, he wanted to specialise in one course, and commented: “I thought about what job I wanted to do in the future and decided I wanted to become a Nurse, so I chose the CTEC Health and Social Care Extended Diploma to enable me to do this.
“As part of the CTEC course, we take part in a one-week work placement, and I did mine at The Robert Darbishire Practice in Rusholme. The work experience placement exceeded my expectations. The staff treated me really well and took time to show me how to do things. Our teachers tasked us with taking part in individual and group activities, and for mine I took part in a teams meeting where I talked about my experiences at the practice and spoke to individual staff about how to perform the tasks I was going to be working on.”
Alfa’s duties involved working on reception to welcome patients and visitors and typing in their details on the computer when they have an appointment to see a Doctor, as well as speaking to people over the phone to book appointments and deal with other admin enquiries and entering information on the system. He also worked with the Admin Team, Marketing Team and spoke to Nurses and Doctors about their roles in the surgery. Alfa said: “I gained experience of what it would be like to work in a GP’s practice, but also what happens in the background as I didn’t think that it would involve so many people. Being in the practice enabled me to gain new experiences, work in a team and it improved my confidence being in a work environment and speaking to members of the public.”
“I’m pleased that I did my placement at the practice as it helped me with my experience and knowledge in health and social care, and they treated me really well and I got on with everybody. My favourite part was when I was given a box of information that I had to sort because it was outdated, and they taught me what I needed to do to correct it and ensure that the records were updated. I gained so much in the week I was there and feel that my communication, written, leadership and teamwork skills have all improved.”
Alfa received amazing feedback from all staff with whom he worked within the practice, and Central Services Manager and Alfa’s placement mentor, Rachel O’Pray, praised Alfa by saying: “Alfa is an extremely capable, intelligent and approachable person. In his time with us, he quickly became valued and well-liked by all staff and it has been an absolute pleasure to have him as part of our team during the week. He has demonstrated his values and ethics and acted with integrity in all interactions. We wish him every success in his future and believe that he can achieve in whatever career path he chooses.”
In talking about his future plans, Alfa said: “My experience at Xaverian has been great and I’m so happy to be here. At the beginning, it was a lot of hard work but I soon got used to it and I knew that if I succeed it will take me to university. In the future, I plan to go to university and following this work in the UK or abroad as a Nurse, and doing my placement has confirmed this. I hope to specialise in paediatrics and one day I would like to work in Dubai as it is an amazing city!”
As one of the largest providers of post-16 education in the region, Xaverian College offers a large variety of A Levels in addition to several BTEC courses, including BTEC Health and Social Care, which gives students the opportunity to progress to university on related Degrees or into further training, Apprenticeships or employment in the healthcare sector. Visit xaverian.ac.uk to find out more.