21 August 2017
Antonia Davies, or Toni as she is known, started working as a Rehab Assistant for Glenside in 2010 following a recommendation from a
friend. She had previously completed a handful of GCSE’s but was looking for a career change, having been working in the hospitality industry for a few years after leaving her college course early.
Shortly after starting her new role, Toni said “I fell in love with the job, the patients and the atmosphere. I just knew that I wanted to become a nurse and this was reiterated by comments from several of my new work colleagues.”
In the first year, Toni applied to Glenside’s learning and development program for funding to undertake an NVQ Level 2 in Health and Social Care. This qualification took Toni six months to complete and was undertaken on site, with achievement completed via written work and practical assessment.
Then Toni undertook a course in Cognitive Rehabilitation Training (CRT) which took a further eight months to complete. This consisted of learning about all the different types of brain injury individuals can experience and how to respond to them. Toni said “This qualification enhanced my knowledge and skill set, particularly on the psychological side of the impact of brain injury, in addition to the physical site and reiterated the fact that each individual is affected differently”.
Toni had to undertake a patient case study. To this end, she developed a care plan of intensive cognitive therapy, including the use of an error-less script to help the patient improve their daily functioning and allowing them to become more independent. Toni remembers that completing this project was very rewarding and the successful outcome spurred her on to continue her studies.
In 2011, Toni then applied to undertake the NVQ Level 3 in Health and Social Care, again supported by Glenside’s staff learning and development program. This diploma allowed her to deepen her knowledge of procedural requirements and safeguarding and also meant on completion, following an internal interview, that Toni was promoted to Senior Rehabilitation Assistant.
In 2012, whilst working full-time, Toni applied for the HE Access to Nursing course delivered as evening classes at a local college. This was the last stepping stone on the way to Toni becoming a nurse.
From Toni’s perspective, she was glad she worked while she learned, as she found she gained the experience and confidence invaluable to underpin her studies.
In 2013, Toni applied to Glenside’s RA development program and was selected as one of the Senior Rehab Assistants that year to be offered financial support towards their three year Nursing Degree course. Now in 2016, Toni is at the final stage of her long journey to become a nurse and is looking forward to working as a staff nurse with Glenside from September 2016.
Toni said “I have found the learning journey to be very rewarding and it has been an amazing experience. Glenside has been extremely supportive, as have the service users I have worked with for my case studies and also my work colleagues who have always encouraged me to achieve my goal of becoming a nurse.”