Niamh Temple chose to study at the University of Hertfordshire after attending an applicants' day.
I felt that Herts offered the best facilities for nursing. The campus looked very modern and had multiple buildings on and off of campus dedicated to healthcare.
My course is 50% theory and 50% placement. On one placement I was able to spend a month in Cambodia, working in the A&E department in one of the local hospitals. At such as young age I have achieved so much during this course. I have been at a hospice where I was privileged to provide care to patients in their last moments of life, as well as after they have passed. I have also been able to follow a patient’s journey from the ward, to theatre where they had a leg amputation, and then back to the ward for post-operative care.
My favourite placement was at a neurological rehabilitation centre, working alongside physios and occupational therapists, helping patients return to everyday life following a brain injury or a stroke. There is just so much to learn and see from a nursing degree.
I started my extended placement mid-April at Lister Hospital. It has been a little difficult adjusting to the COVID-19 situation and working with PPE. I keep smiling at patients and then realise that they can’t see it through my mask! My ears have been hurting from the masks too and sometimes I go home convinced that I must have forgotten to take my mask off as it feels like it is still on when it isn’t!
Although it has only been a couple of weeks, I have enjoyed this placement. All of the staff on this placement have been very supportive. A lot of staff have been moved from their normal wards or areas of speciality so it has been really nice to see how everyone has been supporting each other with their transitions. It is clear that everyone is working as a team to get through this difficult and uncertain time.
The hospital that I am placed at offers a rotation programme where you can spend 12 months working across three different wards. I am hoping to do this so that I can continue to gain different experiences. I would also love to work abroad for a year and then return to the UK and hopefully specialise in an area of my choosing.