Student profile
Bjorn Ramirez, MSc Healthcare Practice

Bjorn Ramirez

"My practice modules help me improve the care and service I provide to my patients and I can channel the situations I encounter at work into meaningful reflective experiences."

Entry year
2019

Why I chose Surrey

I’m a registered nurse from the Philippines and have been practising in the UK since 2015. I come from a family of engineers but veered towards healthcare as I had an interest in human biology. Additionally, I wanted a role that felt like I was making a difference in people’s lives – this led to me to nursing.

I live and work in Guildford, so staying local was a big part of my decision to study at Surrey. I was also impressed with the University’s league table positions, especially in nursing.

My course

My favourite part of the MSc Healthcare Practice course is the flexibility in its structure and modules. When I started my studies, I was already a nurse for seven years, so had an insight into what modules could add value to my practice. So, I chose topics covering leadership, clinical practice and education, which have been incredibly beneficial to me.

The teaching staff are very supportive, kind and take my personal circumstances and interests to heart. I appreciate that all staff, including the module leaders, director of study, programme leader and even the head of school, are very approachable and happy to help me enrich my learning experience. As a mature student, it’s reassuring to know there’s additional support available.

I’m very pleased with the facilities available at the Kate Granger Building. The Library and its services are also amazing – you can even have your books delivered to your address which is very convenient for someone working full-time like me. I’ve also found the additional study spaces like the MySurrey Hive quite useful, as a change in environment helps refresh my focus.

"My studies have shaped me into the leader that I am today, and I can’t wait to inspire others."

My clinical practice

I work in the NHS and the modules I’ve completed help me improve the care and service I provide. The beauty of studying while working is I’m able to channel the situations I encounter at work into meaningful reflective experiences, while the things I learn in the classroom help direct my attention to areas I can improve on.

When I started my studies, I was a senior charge nurse, overseeing the overall running and service of a 30-bed ward. I’m now one of the medical matrons in my hospital, helping improve service and championing representation for Black, Asian and minority ethnic individuals, as well as the Freedom to Speak Up initiative.

I’ve got countless stories from my time in practice and one of these was life-changing for me – a frank and honest conversation with a patient and their relative about dying. As a society, we generally avoid speaking about death, but in this one instance, the patient and his family wanted to discuss what dying meant and what symptoms it entails. Armed with the knowledge that I’d developed through my studies I had the confidence to speak openly about this and explore the patient’s concerns.

At the end of our discussion, the patient and his family were very thankful and felt that it was one of the most enlightening discussions they’d had with someone. The conversation was recognised by the palliative care team, and I was given a certificate of appreciation to highlight the positive impact I’d made on the patient. While this topic was about death, this story is really about empowering the patient and his family towards the end of his life – something we don’t usually have control over.

My career and development

My time at Surrey has helped me grow both personally and professionally. Coming from the Philippines, I had my own views about education which have been positively challenged. My studies have also helped shape me into the leader that I am today, and I can’t wait to inspire others.

When I graduate, I’m hoping to take some time off to celebrate and have some much-needed rest. I’m also considering further study, and I’m on the lookout for opportunities that will help me grow more. But for now, I’m going to focus on doing my job well and finishing my dissertation.

My advice

Never stop trying. Early on, I fell prey to the mentality of being defined by module marks and exam scores. While these are important reflections of your achievements they don’t fully take into consideration your personal experiences, growth and abilities as a person.

If you don’t try, you’ve lost both the chance at an opportunity and insight into an experience that you can later turn into a strength. You can do anything you set your mind on!

Find out more about our healthcare practice course

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