T-levels nursing students get front line experience at Bedford Hospital

Stacy in blue with T-Level trainees at Bedford Hospital.

Now running at Bedford Hospital is front line work experience for 12 Health T-Level students from The Bedford College Group (TBCG).

The T-Level in Health course, which started in September 2021, involves hours of placements in industry settings. At the hospital this is led by Practice Educator Stacy Sherwood, herself a former Bedford College student.

Now she is guiding the T-Level trainees through the transition from classroom to workplace helping to show how theory translates into practice.

Stacy is a great example of how an FE college can play a vital starting point of people’s careers. After leaving Hastingsbury Upper School in Kempston, Stacy took A Levels at Bedford College in Cauldwell Street (including re-taking her Maths GCSE). She then went on to the University of Bedfordshire to study for her Adult Branch Nursing Degree.

“I wanted a change of scenery from school and thought college would better prepare me to go on to university. It was during my time at college that I decided to go into nursing,” said Stacy aged 35.

With help from staff at the college she applied for university and also applied to be a Clinical Support Worker on the Nursing Bank “to make doubly sure that this was what I wanted to do. It might sound silly but I knew after my very first shift at 18 years old, that I was making the right career decision and I’ve never looked back.”

Stacy has now worked in various Nursing roles, wards and departments but for the last two years has been in Practice Education.

“It is so lovely to work with students from schools, colleges and sixth forms in the local area. I was once in the same position as the students I am now supporting, and it’s a privilege to have the opportunity to try and give something back through the Health and Care Academy and T-Level programmes, supported by the Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.”

Lorraine Olinski, TBCG Head of Department, Health, Childcare and Counselling said: “Stacy is a fantastic role model for our students.”