‘I’ve completed every course on FuturU!’: Jacqueline’s story

A selfie of Jacqueline

We caught up with Jacqueline, 63, a healthcare assistant based in Dorset, who specialises in complex care. In this interview, Jacqueline shares how she got into this line of work and how FuturU’s training has helped her. Fun fact: Jacqueline is one of our most prolific learners and has completed over 100 courses!

What type of care do you specialise in?

I work in complex care and for the past four years I’ve been supporting a young lady in her family home. I know everything about her, how she works and what her specific needs are. I prefer being able to work in this way as the care feels a lot more personal. I support her in lots of ways including feeding, administering medication, physio and taking her out and about in her wheelchair when needed. She has a very active social life, so I’ll take her to see shows and other fun activities.

How did you get into this line of work?

I didn’t start professional care work until 2017. Before that, I was caring for my ex husband for several years who sadly ended up in intensive care with a brain injury. After we separated, I felt a need to care for people. I think it’s because I don’t have any family and I find looking after people gives me a lot of therapy. 

Before getting into care, I worked in lots of different jobs, mainly as a secretary or PA. However, care is without doubt the most rewarding role I’ve done.

What was it like caring for a family member?

It was extremely frightening. Because of the brain injury, they told me my husband wouldn’t recognise me. At the time, I couldn’t understand why. I didn’t have any formal training in this area and there was so much I wanted to find out about his condition. That’s when I decided I wanted to start my learning journey.

How has your career evolved since then?

I began by working for a care home for 18 months, but I wasn’t really enjoying it. Then, one day, I was having my nails done in a salon and a girl sat next to me. We started speaking and she told me she worked for a healthcare agency, which sounded really interesting. So she put me forward for a role! I didn’t expect it to go anywhere, but I got the job and have been working there for the past five years. 

My first client was a lovely lady with a brain injury, who I supported for about 18 months. Unfortunately she was knocked over by a car when she was getting off a bus and had very severe injuries. I used to love working with her, but sadly she’s passed away now. After that, I started supporting the lady I work with now. 

How has FuturU helped you in your role?

The lady I support has a lot of medical and support requirements. Through FuturU, I’ve learnt a lot about her different behaviours and how to care for her properly. I don’t think I’d feel happy or safe working in this environment without all the knowledge I’ve gained through my training. It’s very taxing having to work on your own, in lots of different situations, but I now feel prepared for every possible situation going forward.

What do you enjoy most about FuturU’s training?

I like that FuturU’s training is all online. I find it quite daunting doing training in a classroom environment with other people, because I prefer to sit and read things to myself. Plus, there’s not always time for asking questions. With FuturU, I can look up more information on my computer or ask their support team for help. It’s helpful that a lot of their courses direct you to additional resources to access more information too.

I also get a countdown for when I have to renew my certificates on FuturU, which is handy. There are about eight certificates I need to have to work in complex care, but I have also gone on to complete other courses that have interested me. I’ve now completed every single course on FuturU and I’m actually one of the top 7 learners on the leadership board! 

What are your future goals?

I’ll be 64 in a couple of weeks. Once you get to my age, a lot of people assume you’ll be retiring soon, but I don’t plan on doing that for a while. People are eager to put you in a bracket, but I’m very young at heart – I’m fit, able and healthy and I love to travel. I’ve got a lot of energy and a lot of the youngsters can’t even keep up with me! I love my job and I like to think it comes out in the way I work, so I won’t be stopping anytime soon. In the meantime, I’m keen to keep learning and doing more courses. 

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