15th March 2022
We recently chatted to Laura Whitehead, Curriculum Leader for BTEC Level 3 Health and Social Care at Stafford College to hear about her experiences in nursing and why she decided to use her skills and experiences in the classroom.
Q. Tell us about your career in teaching Health and Social Care and how you started your journey
A. I originally chose to become a nurse due to my passion for caring for the elderly. I completed the Health and Social Care BTEC course in college and undertook a placement at a nursing home. This is where I saw first-hand how socially isolated elderly people can become when in nursing or residential care. I developed a passion for Dementia care, after seeing the devastating effects of this disease. I wanted to empower patients and keep them independent and happy throughout their diagnosis, and it was really rewarding to see the impact nursing staff can have on patients in improving confidence and making patients feel confident in their care. I undertook my student nurse training and then qualified as a nurse in 2017 and begun working on a Care of the Elderly ward where I became passionate about end of life care, including supporting family and patients through difficult diagnoses.
Q. What has been the most rewarding part of your career in industry?
A. The most rewarding part of my teaching career has been watching my students progress from a Level 2 qualification, until they get into University. It is an honour to watch students thrive from Level 2 and watch them grow in confidence and maturity. It is also lovely to support learners in developing their passion for healthcare.
Q. Why did you decide to become a teacher?
A. I chose to become a teacher as I wanted to inspire students into caring for the elderly, and Dementia Care. I know many are unaware of the role, and some do not know how rewarding it can be, and I wanted to show students that it can be a really enjoyable career prospect with lots of opportunities for development. I also hold a true passion for educating individuals about Dementia Care, in which I teach to BTEC Level 3 learners.
Q. What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get into the Health/ Early Years industry?
A. My advice would be to remain kind and empathetic throughout. It is important to remember that everyone you care for has their own stories and experiences. I saw this when I cared for someone who had been a nurse during their life, and had developed dementia. She was still able to assist me in giving me some tips on wound care. This conversation made her feel so happy and supported, and also helped me to get to know my patient. In other words, do not judge a book by its cover!
Find out more about studying Health and Social Care at Stafford College.