Havering student Kerry Barlow: "The small campus can be an advantage as you have smaller classes and more time with lecturers"
After finding out about nursing through her friends, Kerry decided to study at LSBU's Havering campus. It was much closer to home for her, and with her family commitments - one child and two step children, it was far more practical to be based in Havering. "Friends had already joined and recommended studying at LSBU and so it was the most convenient and suitable choice."
Kerry found that being based on the Havering campus had additional benefits, beside convenience: "The small campus can be an advantage in a way as it means you have smaller classes and more time with the lecturers."
Assessments were always broken down into smaller groups, allowing Kerry to practise vital techniques including manual handling, injection techniques, and resuscitation. "It was all useful to practise before you get on the wards!"
Students at Havering also carry out placements at local hospitals. Kerry's placements were all at Queen's Hospital where she experienced A&E, a resuscitation ward and a surgical ward. Kerry is now working at Queen's Hospital as a Staff Nurse on the Orthopaedic ward.
"I really enjoyed the placements on the wards and this taught me so much, learning hands-on and being able to see and do the tasks I was asked to do. I got along really well with the staff on the ward and built a good rapport with patients. I always got good feedback from my placements too. I learnt many techniques including aseptic techniques, drugs and injections and the running of wards."
Placement to employment
As a consequence of being placed at Queen's, Kerry got to know the hospital and the staff really well. This meant that on graduation, she already had a job lined up. "The Matron recommended me for this post and I was offered the position during my last placement at the hospital, they even held the post ready for me until I had finished the course at LSBU."
Kerry carries out a range of tasks within her job, including tending the patients' needs, carrying out intravenous therapy, handling cardiac arrests and helping to run the ward. "I do shift work and really enjoy the night shifts, as they are not as frantic and easier to manage."Kerry has no regrets over the decision to change careers, and encourages others in the same position to consider nursing.
I would really recommend the career of nursing as it is so rewarding and I am pleased I retrained as a nurse. It is important to have the right attitude if you want to become a nurse as you need to have the enthusiasm and commitment to work hard and learn.