- Course: Nursing (Child) BSc
From the age of about six years old when my Aunty bought me a nurse’s uniform outfit for Christmas, I knew that I wanted to become a nurse like her. It motivated me through primary school, secondary and sixth form, where I had to spend an extra year to re-take some exams to ensure that I could make it into nursing. I grew up with 2 sisters and a brother in South Devon, I always bandaging up our cuts and grazes from cycling to the beach. I’ve never known anything else that I’d rather do for the rest of my life than giving professional care to people in need of it and being able to make an impact on someone’s life no matter how big or small my job in nursing is.
I’m from south Devon by the beaches, which I love, but I became ready for a change of environment. Leeds was my favourite city when visiting universities, because of the mix of both country and city elements. There are lots of green spaces within and around Leeds which makes a nice contrast to the busy and vibrant city centre. I would advise you to visit the city beforehand as well as visiting just the university. The city is where you’ll be living for the next three or more years, so you need to love it!
I was on a placement with a radiographer in the anti-natal clinic and was able to perform an ultrasound scan on a first-time mother. The scan that I did highlighted the gender of the baby, I, therefore, was able to tell her what gender the baby would be and confirm that it was healthy and developing well. It was the most rewarding moment of my schooling life to date, to be able to witness the overjoyed reaction and to be a part of that special moment forever.
Within the radiotherapy unit, you can get to know certain patients as they receive their treatment up to 5 days a week for up to 7 weeks. I completed the new patient assessment on a patient. Midway through their treatment, they began reacting severely to the treatment resulting in serious discomfort and becoming nil by mouth, meaning that they needed a nasal feeding tube, which they were very worried about. I saw them for nearly all their nurse-led appointments, therefore I was able to get to know the patient well and help to explain to other nurses what works best for them. As their treatment came to an end the treatment reaction cleared up and they made a full recovery. I was able to follow this patient through a scary chapter of their life and build up a relationship with them to make receiving cancer treatment a little bit easier.
Students need to have a passion for their job as a nurse and enjoy learning new things every day. Even after graduation, nurses are still learning on the job as no patient is the same. The answers are not always online or in a book, student nurses need to have good communication skills to speak and understand the patient and their care needs. They also need to simply have an interest and care for their patients, as we are their port of call to recovery.
I am looking to join the British Army as a combat nurse. I like the thought of being challenged daily, as well as stepping out of my comfort zone whilst sticking as a nurse and helping people in need. The course has ensured me that I’m in the correct profession and gets me excited when thinking about graduating and working with my own patients. Healthcare students from Leeds are built up over the years with vital skills which allow you to be placed anywhere in the world, in any situation, with any people and being able to make an impact on someone in some way. The things that we learn are not only nurse related skills but simple life lessons that can be applied at any point in your life!