Deb Morrison has always dreamed of being a nurse.
And thanks to a workplace-based training programme, the Belfast receptionist is on a mission to upskill and follow her dreams.
Ms Morrison has worked at the Belfast North Mediqual Doctors for 15 years.
“I’ve always wanted to do my training as a nurse but I never had the opportunity to do this when I was growing up,” she said.
“This is a journey I’ve always wanted to take.”
Ms Morrison has just completed an apprenticeship in primary care practice assistance, becoming the first apprentice to graduate from the new programme developed by the industry training organisation, Careerforce.
She said the apprenticeship has given her a newfound self-assurance in many aspects of her role.
“Now I find myself feeling a lot more confident so I will give things a go, whereas before I would just sit back and watch,” she said.
Her newfound skills and confidence has also provided a welcome boost to her employer and practice team of five doctors and four nurses, as now Ms Morrison puts her hand up for more responsibility in her role.
“Now my work colleagues ask me to assist them and that makes me feel good because I’m proving myself, I’m trusted, and I’ve got the skills to do it,” she said.
“And it’s helping them and the doctors as well. I love the responsibility.”
Ms Morrison said her workplace and colleagues have been very supportive of her training journey.
“I am positive my new skills have added a lot of value to my workplace,” she said.