"The teaching staff are fabulous! My tutors have supported me both personally and academically to ensure I’m able to fulfil my full potential."
CourseNursing Studies (Registered Nurse Children's Nursing) BSc (Hons)
Why I chose Surrey
I was diagnosed with cancer three years ago. I came out the other side of my treatment as a different person, with new priorities and perspectives. I no longer enjoyed the career I’d previously been dedicated to. I needed a change. I’d been touched and inspired by all the wonderful nurses that had helped and supported me, and I wanted to take the next step to train as a children’s nurse, using my life experiences.
As a mature student, it was important that I could study somewhere close to home that would work around my existing commitments. I was impressed with how highly ranked nursing was – and still is! – in the league tables and how satisfied students on the course were. Additionally, the tutor support stood out from other universities, which was important to me. Surrey was a perfect choice!
On my children's nursing course, I’ve really enjoyed the mixture of classroom-based theory teaching and hands-on simulation learning. With the Covid-19 pandemic, most of my theory-based teaching has moved online. This has allowed me to flexibly complete my studies in my own time while volunteering and doing part-time work – something I’ve really liked.
The teaching staff are fabulous! Every single member of staff I’ve encountered has gone above and beyond to help me and my peers. I’ve built some great professional relationships with my lecturers and I feel very comfortable seeking advice for any concerns or issues. My tutors have supported me both personally and academically to ensure my time at Surrey is the best possible and I’m able to fulfil my full potential.
I’ve had access to some incredible teaching facilities, including the Clinical Simulation Suite. Being able to practise in a simulated clinical environment, with real actors, sophisticated manikins and all the equipment available on a real hospital ward has really assisted and supported my learning before going on placement.
My clinical placements
I’ve just completed a clinical placement at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children on a multi-speciality ward. I can now comfortably do patient observations, draw up and administer medications under supervision, remove cannulas and much more.
One of my highlights has been working on the haematology and oncology ward. As a cancer survivor, I worried that I’d feel overwhelmed. But I’ve competently worked alongside members of the multidisciplinary team to deliver a very high standard of care to patients. On the ward, I’ve had several pieces of very positive and encouraging feedback from parents, who’ve commended me for my communication skills and professional approach. They showed me lots of appreciation and several even personally thanked me for making the hospital experience for them and their child so wonderful – something that will stay with me forever.
My time in practice has shown me that even the smallest action can make a meaningful difference to patients and their families. Compassion really lies at the heart of everything we do as nurses. It’s also improved my confidence and belief in my abilities, and I now know it’s okay to not know everything all the time!
I’m just about to start a second placement in the paediatric A&E at East Surrey Hospital and I can’t wait to gain more clinical experience!
"Being able to practise in a simulated clinical environment, with real actors and sophisticated manikins has really assisted and supported my learning before going on placement."
My career and development
Before coming to Surrey, I was very nervous about meeting new people, coming back to university and the prospect of dealing with potentially challenging situations that could affect me personally. But I was determined that cancer wouldn’t stop me from fulfilling my career goals. Now, I’ve grown as a person and I’m more confident, especially after my placements. Surrey has been a very conducive environment for me and it’s improved my skills and learning as a future children’s nurse.
Once I qualify, I’d like to work in a hospital-based clinical environment. When I’ve done more placements, I might totally change my mind – let’s wait and see! Further down the line, I’d like to specialise in either oncology and haematology, or in intensive care nursing. These are two areas I’m personally passionate about.
- Don’t worry about anything – you’ll have such an amazing time at Surrey! All the staff are so lovely and supportive, and you’ll meet so many like-minded people.
- Regarding academic work, make sure you use all the resources the tutors provide and really keep on top of your organisation. It will make managing everything so much easier.
- In terms of placements, just grab every opportunity possible. You’ll learn so much more if you throw yourself wholeheartedly into everything you do, and it will be a much more valuable experience overall.