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AVA of Choice

Emma McNaught

Emma studied for the Access to Higher Health Professions Diploma at Market Rasen Clip and was awarded the Award for 'Outstanding Commitment to Study' at the AIM Access to Higher Education Virtual Learner Awards 2023.

During an exceptionally trying time in her life, Emma wanted to find a way to apply herself whilst practically living at the hospital with her son. Whilst studying, Emma overcame various challenges and continued her personal growth and development, enhancing her self-confidence, problem-solving abilities and resilience, highly valued qualities in the healthcare field.

Emma continuously strives to work hard through her turbulent experiences, highlighting the extra effort and unwavering dedication in her studies and actively engaging, demonstrating a genuine passion for learning. Although these personal challenges could have easily derailed her progress, she has consistently shown up and remained committed to her education.  When Emma did miss work due to being in the hospital, every effort was made to catch up straight away, through independent research, seeking out extra reading materials or arranging additional tutor sessions.  Emma has embraced the opportunity to learn and has utilised it as a catalyst for positive change in her life.



"I chose to complete the Access to Higher Education course in Health Professions after my 6-year-old son was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in May 2021. We have spent most of the last two years living in a Paediatric oncology ward whilst my son has gone through his chemotherapy treatments. Seeing what the nurses do on the oncology ward and the training that I have received to be able to care for my son at home, made me realise that this is something I would like to go into as a new career. Facing these challenges, studying is helping me to overcome where I am personally and has facilitated my growth and development, helping me to deal with my mental health.

Working through the course has given me the chance to focus on something other than my son having cancer, which I believe has helped me enormously.  Throughout the Access course, I have found it at times very difficult to ensure I was able to complete my assignments by the submission date but I have always managed it, often completing them in hospital whilst my son has been very poorly. 

I am gaining a solid foundation of knowledge in various health-related subjects, and it is equipping me with the academic skills and knowledge necessary for pursuing further studies in healthcare to benefit both myself and my son in the future, despite the hurdles we still have ahead of us. 
This experience has enhanced my self-confidence, showing me that I have the strength to succeed, overcome this adversity and at the same time be a role model to my son, showing him that where there is a will there is a way, and that education is important to create a better future for ourselves.  I have learnt to be resilient in the face of all this, and it has further strengthened my resolve to make something of my life.  I also recognise that to do so, I have to complete this Access Diploma in Health Professions, to the best of my ability so that I can further embark on a successful and fulfilling career in health."

Emma McNaught, Access to HE Graduate