19 July 2018

An Interview with Steph Ward, a Student Nurse working as a HCA for Newcross

While studying for a nursing degree is a wholly worthwhile endeavour, there are certain challenges students will face along the way, such as getting practical experience and paying maintenance bills. It’s therefore unsurprising that many student nurses choose to work as a Healthcare Assistant, so they can ‘earn while they learn’.

We interviewed Steph Ward about the time she spent with us at Newcross in our Chester branch during her studies.

Steph Ward HCAWhat made you join Newcross to begin with?

"I joined Newcross in 2014 to gain more experience within the healthcare industry to prepare myself for my Nursing degree and to gain more confidence in order to prepare myself for a variety of Nursing placements during my degree."

What have been the benefits of working with Newcross throughout your time as a student? /How has working for Newcross helped you during your time as a student nurse and now your qualified?

"There have been so many benefits of working for Newcross throughout my training. I've gained lots of experience and broadened my skills for my future career.

"Newcross enabled me to gain experience through a variety of placements, such as Nursing Homes, Hospices, Brain injury units and End of Life care. The most valuable skill I have improved on is my communication skills."

What has made you stay with Newcross now you are qualified?

"The flexibility of Newcross continues to support my career and the variety of settings continues to progress my skills and knowledge to support my job role as an Oncology Staff Nurse."

How did you find balancing work around your placements and exams? 

"The flexibility of agency work supports the stresses of student Nurse life. The weekly pay supports the financial struggles throughout a nursing degree – which is a massive help!"

What would you say to other student nurses thinking of joining Newcross?

"It’s a fantastic opportunity to gain a greater depth of experience and understanding within many health and social care settings. You can work as much and as little as you need to balance your workload. Throughout the holiday periods I would work more hours. This helped me use my time more effectively when I had a difficult essay to write I could reduce my hours to support my studies."

student nurse image

Ami Allmand, Chester BCM has been thoroughly impressed with Steph's contribution to the team:

"Steph has made a significant contribution to the Chester team and her hard work has been recognised. Steph has an excellent relationship with both staff and residents wherever she goes and has had some really positive feedback from our clients. Steph is a very professional and caring person and all my residents loved her. I am confident Steph will continue to grow and develop through her preceptorship and I look forward to her working with Newcross as a nurse in the future."

For more information on how to make the most of working as you study, refer to our Five Tips for Student Nurses article. If you're a Student Nurse looking for flexible work, you can look through our Careers Page for the latest opportunities.