Celebrating Success

At Nottingham University Hospitals (NUH) NHS Trust you can develop your job role into a lifelong career. 

See below some of the stories from our current apprentices as they undertake their career development journeys at Nottingham University Hospitals.

For more staff stories follow us on NUHCareers

Mercy Chimanga, Theatre Support Worker Apprentice

Mercy Chimanga, a Theatre Support Worker Apprentice, at Nottingham University Hospitals (NUH) Trust, has shared her inspiring career journey to encourage others to achieve their career goals.

Based in Eyes Theatre in the Eyes, Ears Nose and Throat Building (EENT) at Queens Medical Hospital, Mercy was inspired to get into healthcare because of her Auntie who was a nurse for over 40 years and based in Zimbabwe. Mercy recounted fondly of how nurturing her Auntie was and how she looked in her uniform before she set off to work. With this in mind, Mercy came over to Nottingham from Zimbabwe to join her cousin who was also based in the city.

Joining Nottingham University Hospitals in 2018, Mercy chose NUH as her employer because she said “I felt established in my home life in Nottingham, and wanted to give back to the community.”

Starting out as an apprentice, Mercy, 40, preferred to go down an apprenticeship pathway rather than go to university she said: “I knew I would be able to finish my studies with no debt and it felt like a very good opportunity as I would be working with an income and learning in a job that I love to do, as I learn more through a hands on approach.”  

As a Theatre Support Worker Apprentice, Mercy ensures the day to day set up of the theatre, which includes making sure that the rooms are prepped to the correct temperatures, the machines are set up and that all the details of who’s in the theatre team are readily available. She added: “I love it, my team are so friendly, everybody is there to help each other and they have made me feel really comfortable.”

With her career progression firmly in mind, Mercy said: “I did not hesitate to tell my line manager that if there was an opportunity for development I wanted to do it, and my manager was very happy to help me develop.” Then when the opportunity to do her Level 3 pathway Operating Department Practitioner (ODP) training arose, Mercy grabbed the opportunity and completed the 12-18 month course in a much earlier than expected timescale.

Garry Dawe, Theatre Clinical Educator, put Mercy’s incredible dedication down to the fact that “she was so motivated…she’s a great role model for all our support workers.” This was then reflected by Mercy’s achievement in being presented with an apprentice award for being shortlisted for this year’s ‘Health, Science and Care Apprentice of the Year.’

The Health, Science and Care Apprentice of the Year Award, hosted by Nottingham College recognises and celebrates outstanding achievements of apprentices and the positive impact apprenticeships have on employers and the community. Mercy said: “It made me feel so good, I didn’t know there was something like that, and I felt like I had been recognised and was very proud of myself.”

Now, because of her amazing progress and dedication to her current role, Mercy gets to begin her Operating Department Practitioner (ODP) apprenticeship in September 2023. Asked where she wants to be in five years’ time, Mercy replied: “For the next three years I will focused on my apprenticeship course and then I would like to think for the latter two years I will be settled in my role as a new ODP.I will feel great, confident and proud of myself that I have achieved my dream goal.

“My advice to anyone wanting to do an apprenticeship is use the resources that you have and do not be afraid to ask, you are not alone.” Mercy also wanted to give thanks to her tutor, management team and all of her colleagues who supported her throughout her career development.

Mercy Chimanga

Orla O'Kane, HR Administration Apprentice

Apprentice for HR

Orla O’Kane, a HR Administration Apprentice for the Resourcing Team gained her GCSE results last year (2022) and decided to embark on a Level 3 apprenticeship at Nottingham University Hospitals.

Orla, 17, who started her role in January 2023, preferred to follow the apprenticeship route rather than go to college, she said “I remembering thinking that I would get more out of an apprenticeship than just a qualification, I would have an income, gain confidence by meeting lots of different people and gain transferrable skills for other careers, which prompted me to apply”.

Orla explains the day to day duties of her apprenticeship, “My administration duties include making job adverts live, setting up interviews and answering phone calls and emails. Every day is different and I also get the opportunity to attend regular recruitment events and meet new people”. Recently Orla attended a recruitment event for Year 10 students to show them the available career opportunities at NUH, of which she hopes inspires more students into choosing an apprenticeship.

When asked why she wanted to work at Nottingham University Hospitals (NUH), Orla said “I wanted to feel proud of where I work and it’s great to talk with people and say I work at NUH”. Orla continued “My family have worked and continue to work here too and they have always said it is a great place to work”.

As a Health Ambassador for Nottingham University Hospitals (NUH), Orla would advise anyone who has the opportunity to apply for an apprenticeship at the NUH NHS Trust to go for it! Orla said “as long as you have your GCSE’s you can apply for any Level 2 and 3 apprenticeship”.

Orla also talks of the opportunities in her future at the NUH, she said “I get to carry on with my education, and by the end of my apprenticeship I will have had experience in different departments within the NHS, and then I will be able to choose a career based on which part of my apprenticeship I enjoyed most and go from there”.

Feeling inspired? See our current apprenticeships here; Current jobs | NUH

For more information about apprenticeships, see here; Apprenticeships | NUH

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