From Zero Experience to Frontline Hero with Tallaght Training Centre
In February 2019, Renata Wacyra decided to change her life completely. Renata had been working in a job with no opportunities for growth for thirteen years. She decided it was time for a change and embarked on a journey to becoming a healthcare worker.
With no experience in the healthcare sector, Renata thought it was too late for her to make such a change on her career path but then she heard about the Social and Community Care Traineeship programme in Tallaght Training Centre (DDLETB).
Before starting the course, Renata was full of self-doubt, in particular, she was worried about submitting assignments in English as it was not her first language. But these concerns eased as she settled in and met her classmates and tutors who were more than helpful, she says: “It was the beginning of a new life for me.”
Not only did the course prepare Renata for a new career as a Healthcare Assistant, but it gave her the confidence to believe in herself. She says that by the time she started her placement in St. James’s Hospital in Dublin, she felt prepared for everything but even she might not have anticipated what was to come.
When the Covid-19 pandemic hit Ireland in March 2020, Renata had only one module left to complete on the course. Public health restrictions brought disruptions for classroom learning and Renata worried she might not be able to complete her assignments without class-based tutoring, but the tutors and students quickly adapted to online learning so that the course could continue and all students would receive the support they needed. At first, Renata found it difficult learning from home, but with the support and guidance from her tutors, it became the new norm.
Renata continued her work experience at St. James’s Hospital, caring for patients with a range of cancer diagnoses and general medical conditions on a private ward. Renata says that throughout her placement, she wore her uniform with pride, and after long days she found comfort in knowing that her hard work had been worth it. She says: “I made someone’s life a little easier today.”
As the pandemic went on, new guidelines and rules were introduced in the hospital and staff had to respond by creating new systems that would keep everyone - staff and patients - safe and secure. These restrictions meant spending less quality time with patients which Renata says she found very hard, in particular, she says having to communicate through phones to prevent the spread of the virus was tough as both staff and patients wanted so much to speak face-to-face.
Renata might not have expected such an introduction to the healthcare sector but it was an experience that taught her a lot: “I was very lucky to be able to continue my work placement in these difficult times, I have learned so much so quickly.”
And since completing her placement at St James' Hospital, Renata was offered a job at the hospital.
If you've been considering a career change, Renata will tell you - don't let anything hold you back! Learn more about how to reskill through a Further Education and Training course here.