"The support and teaching I received at Surrey gave me the self-cofidence to obtain my degree and take on a completely new career."
CourseNursing Studies (Registered Nurse Children's Nursing)
What attracted you to choose the University of Surrey and to study your course here?
I was initially attracted to Surrey because it was my local university but when I discovered that it also has an outstanding reputation for its nursing programmes it really left no doubt in my mind that there was no other choice for me.
What is your strongest memory of your time at Surrey – what do you picture first when you think of being here?
A lot of smiles and laughter actually! Amidst the hard work there was also a great deal of fun, and I picture the faces of my tutors and peers and remember many happy times.
What were the best things about your course?
As it was a nursing degree, the training was not all theory and included a lot of practical sessions. For example in the simulation centre, as well as on placements in hospitals and within the community. This gave me the opportunity to meet and be taught by many incredibly inspiring people in healthcare.
What do you do now and what do you find the most enjoyable about your line of work? Have there been any highlights?
After nearly two years as a qualified nurse on a general paediatric ward, I moved into my current role of Paediatric Diabetes Specialist Nurse.
I find the most enjoyable aspect of my role to be developing a trusting and mutually respectful relationship with my patients and their families. A relationship where I am able to educate, support, advise and provide comfort throughout their day-to-day lives, in which they are having to cope with a very complex lifelong condition.
Highlights are always when I have a breakthrough with a child, young person or family, around their understanding of how to manage their condition in a way that leads to better control of blood glucose levels and that, ultimately, results in them coping better - both emotionally and physically.
How did your time at Surrey help you choose what career to go into? Did a Professional Training placement help you decide?
I had many placements as a student on the general paediatric ward of my locality and thoroughly enjoyed them. It was an easy and natural choice for me to seek a position there when I qualified. As a ward nurse, my interest in Diabetes grew and I became the ward link nurse for the diabetes team. This led to an obvious progression of applying for the specialist nurse role when it became available.
What are your top tips for students aspiring to work in your profession?
Remember to look after yourself first! You can't care for other people if you are not on top form. So try to be organised with your university work so that you can leave time for yourself to relax and unwind.
Finally, do you have any other comments you’d like to offer about your time at Surrey or life after university?
I was in my 40s when I began my degree and I found it to be one of the most rewarding things I have done in my life. Never think you can't do it, or make excuses that you're too old or not clever enough etc.
The support and teaching I received at Surrey gave me the self-cofidence to obtain my degree and take on a completely new career.
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