Having worked as an Emergency Medical Advisor and then as a Resource Dispatcher for South East Coast Ambulance Service since September 2013 I decided that I would like to progress within the medical field, and this would mean a medical degree. Having achieved very little in the way of academic qualifications when I left school in 1995, I would need to have completed an Access Course before this would be possible. I had originally intended to attend my local college 2 days a week in order to do this, but the logistics of having to maintain full-time hours as well as fitting in college days and study time would have made this all but impossible for me. I was unsure whether or not it would be possible to achieve the relevant qualifications via a distance learning course, but after a quick search and a chat with the folks at Academy Online Learning, it quickly became apparent that this was the place for me. I have decided to become an Operating Department Practitioner, and AOLL have courses tailored specifically for your chosen profession. It was obviously a little daunting for me initially having been out of the formal education system for over 20 years, but I found the structure and the materials very easy to follow and very interesting as the course progressed. There were modules such as Genetic Inheritance and Psychology that I was perhaps not looking forward to as much as the others, but very soon became fascinated by them. The support from the tutors is absolutely second to none, with each of the tutors that I was assigned to quickly getting a ‘feel’ for the pace and quality of the work that I submitted, and providing expert assistance and reassurance along the way. When I found a particular part of the course difficult to fully grasp, a few encouraging words and some direction from the tutors quickly had me feeling more confident.
The format is very easy to follow, and it is great to be able to see how you are progressing as the course continues. You are also able to fit your studies in around your work or personal life as I have been working at least 40 hours a week throughout the course, including long night shifts in a very high-pressure setting.
I have been accepted by the University of Surrey for a place as an Operating Department Practitioner to begin in September 2016. There were 38 places on the course for over 570 applicants, and to have been offered a place against this stiff competition I feel speaks volumes about how well the AOLL course prepares you for life at University. I would encourage anyone thinking about enrolling on the course to do so, and have nothing but praise and admiration for the way that the tutors and support staff have helped me prepare for my journey into life as a full-time mature student. I will always be hugely grateful to the team at AOLL, and would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone thinking about enrolling. If you are unsure whether this could work for you then please take my word for it; a year ago I was unsure if I had the ability to return to study after all this time away, but in a couple of months I will be starting University in one of the most interesting and dynamic roles available in the medical field.
I would like to say a final huge thank you to the fantastic team at AOLL, and if you are reading this and wondering whether this is the course for you then don’t hesitate; sign up today and good luck!