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We asked Keith Hayes from Health Service Executive to give some advice for people considering this job:
|At a minimum get your Leaving Cert, that’s required anyway. But don’t sell yourself short aim for a third level college qualification, something like a science degree. It may not have obvious benefits now but the career is changing direction so fast it could stand to you big time.
Take your time in applying I joined the service when I was 25 yrs old and looking back I think around that age is the right time. When you consider some of the calls we attend and things we may need to deal with, joining at 17 or 18 after the Leaving Cert with little or no life experiences may turn you off because it is very demanding physically, mentally and emotionally.
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Liam Dowling, Clinical Nurse Manager 2
Liam is a qualified Nurse (CNM2) in the area of Intellectual Disability. He chose to change his career path from that of a qualified Butcher to Intellectual Disability Nursing in his early twenties, and completed a Degree programme. He now works in St Michael's house with people that have severe and profound intellectual disabilities.
Inter Cert (now Junior Cert) only! Life experience helped and then I took further training. A Civics teacher guided me and then I did a Care course in Bull Alley Street. This confirmed to me that the area I wanted to work in was in care work. The direct Nursing path way was brilliant although it wasn't my first choice.
At 24 I was too young for a Trinity Social work degree (their loss). I loved my nurse training. I was very hands on which suited me, I am not sure if I could have coped as well in a college only environment. I often wonder what I would have done if I had stayed on in school, done the Leaving and then gone to college..... but I have no regrets!
Inter cert then Diploma in Victuallery (butcher). Dont laugh! yes, I went to college to become a qualified Victualler.
Later I did a Certificate in Nursing, a Degree in Nursing and a few courses in between to bring me up to date.
The Degree in Nursing was vital in linking theory to practice. The PLC course in Bull Ally Street was my foundation.
The Management Diploma helps you to battle with the big guns!!
I would never rule it out. Practices are continually changing and we need to keep up. Research into epilepsy among other areas are really changing the way we do our job. So it is vital that we keep up with that knowledge and stay on a path of continuous professional development.