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Health T-Level student Callum is thriving on his pioneering programme

Telford College Health T-Level student Callum McCarthy

Callum McCarthy is paving the way as one of the first students on Telford College’s breakthrough Health T-Level programme.

The former Charlton School pupil has represented the college as an ambassador for his course on a national scale – including the chance to discuss his experience with the Department of Education.

Telford College’s Health T-Level programme consists of a split of studying, with 80% of studies at the college’s state-of-the-art Clinical Skills centre, with the other 20% consisting of a block release work placement in an active hospital environment.

Callum originally decided to come to Telford College as it was the closest provider that offered a health care programme, after seeing the facilities and talking to staff at an open event.

“I wanted to study healthcare because I’ve always wanted to help people” says Callum. “I liked studying biology in school and this is the most direct way I can apply that to make people’s lives better.

“I originally applied for a vocational health programme, however I heard someone on the radio talking about T-Levels and I decided to do some research. I liked what I read, and I thought I’d be more qualified leaving the course with valuable, hands-on experience on a real hospital ward.

“The staff and my peers are really nice; I’m one of only two boys in a group of 31 students, its an environment I feel I’ve really adapted to and I get on with everyone. I love working in such incredible facilities at Telford College and I really enjoy studying here.

“As part of my placement, we work seven-hour shifts on a ward at the Princess Royal Hospital. We do a month’s training before we go, where we’re taught the correct health regulations and how to operate equipment.”

Callum training in the Clinical Skills Centre

“On the ward, we take care of patients in a hands-on capacity. We’re always supervised by a professional nurse, we can take readings, help move patients and clean down the area, whilst getting to witness first hand some of procedures trained nurses carry out on a day-to-day basis.

“I feel the work we did in the college really prepared me for my placements on the ward, the medical dummies are high tech and replicate a lot of scenarios we’d have to face extremely well, the staff talked us through the procedure and their expert guidance was beneficial.”

Along with his studies, Callum was invited to talk with staff representatives to the Department for Education, where he ‘articulated his points with enthusiasm and was a great role model for the college’

Callum added “I was really nervous, however my lecturers helped me prepare my answers and I feel I answered well. It was a really positive experience for me.”

Callum is also one of the Health T-Level students taking part in the WorldSkills ‘Skills Olympics’ competition – find out more here.

Upon completion of his programme, Callum wants to train to be a paediatric nurse. “I’ve been looking at programmes at Birmingham and Keele universities, they have specific programmes in paediatric nursing with exceptional opportunities to help boost my studies.

“I’d recommend Health T-Levels to any students who wants to learn health in a hands-on, real environment. I think this programme is revolutionary how it gives you work experience in your study time.”

Stewart Riddle, clinical educator and Callum’s tutor at Telford College, said: “Callum is a hard-working student who is working within the top 10% of the current T Levels students.”

“His attitude to the course is a credit to himself, he always volunteers to be involved with all aspect of the course, currently he is taking part in the world skills event and is through to the second round.”

“In placement he is a kind caring young man who gets involved with all aspects and tasks expected of a Health care support worker, all with a mature attitude far beyond his age.”

Are you inspired by Callum’s journey? Discover Health T-Levels today.