Graduate profile
Abbey Anderson

Abbey Anderson

"The teaching and support from staff, as well as mentors on placements, was excellent and I feel prepared me well for my career in nursing."

Course
Nursing Studies (Registered Nurse Children's Nursing)
Graduation year
2009

What attracted you to choose the University of Surrey and to study your course here?

I loved the campus and friendly atmosphere of the University when I visited. I was also impressed by their reputation for nursing and high rates of employment post-graduation.

What is your strongest memory of your time at Surrey – what do you picture first when you think of being here?

I can’t think of one specific memory as there are so many good ones, but generally a very happy time of hard work and fun with friendly people. Results day was quite a special one I suppose as so many of us got excellent results – it was a fantastic celebration (and relief!) of three years of hard work paying off!

What were the best things about your course?

The variety of opportunities given to us in placements – I enjoyed experiencing acute hospital settings and a range of community placements (mental health, health visiting, community children’s nursing, school nursing). Even now I often reflect on these in my current practice and consider these different roles when working with other professionals.

Also the support from the lecturers and tutors with all aspects of life, including the course! They recognised that this is a tough course and perhaps more full on than your average degree as you are working and studying simultaneously and would always help however they could to ensure you did the best you could in the course.

One more thing – meeting some of my best friends! Life has changed a lot for us in the ten years since we met but we still talk about our time at Surrey fondly.

What do you do now and what do you find the most enjoyable about your line of work? Have there been any highlights?

I am currently a senior staff nurse on an adolescent ward. This means our speciality is the age group so I care for adolescents with a range of conditions including oncology, surgical, gastroenterology, mental health, orthopaedic, general medical etc. I enjoy the variety and that you never know what might happen on a shift! I also like supporting young people and helping them recover or gain some kind of normality in their life despite what they may be battling.

Becoming a band 6 both in my previous trust and in Bristol was a great achievement. As a senior nurse I enjoy co-ordinating shifts and supporting the team I am working with hopefully in a calm and friendly way, despite a sometimes stressful environment.

How did your time at Surrey help you choose what career to go into? Did a Professional Training placement help you decide?

Having a variety of placements definitely helped me decide that I enjoy ward nursing. From my final placement on a children’s ward I took my first job as a rotation post and this led to me finding two fantastic jobs on adolescent wards.

What are your top tips for students aspiring to work in your profession?

If you are unsure at all try and get some kind of work experience or a job doing some healthcare work. Nursing can be tough as well as rewarding and I think this will soon help you know if it’s the career for you!

Finally, do you have any other comments you’d like to offer about your time at Surrey or life after university?

The teaching and support from staff, as well as mentors on placements, was excellent and I feel prepared me well for my career in nursing. I remember as a newly qualified feeling scared but also realising I was more prepared than other people from different universities. I still value the importance of this support and hope that now I can provide this for others in my practice.

 

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