Today we sat down with first year Paediatric Nursing student Gemma Green, she may only have just arrived at BCU, but she’s already making waves within the HELS faculty & has immersed herself in a whole range of activities & experiences in the last few years!
Hi Gemma, it’s great getting to chat with you today! Tell us a little about you, what course do you study?
"I am currently a first-year student of the BSc (Hons) Paediatric Nursing Degree, 09/19 cohort at BCU. I was accepted onto the course following me achieving the results required from my Access to Nursing & Midwifery Diploma."
I had already gained my Level 3 Health & Social Care Diploma and Certificate plus The Care Certificate. I have had about 15yrs experience (Waking Night Shifts) within the Complex Care/Acute Respiratory healthcare sector supporting MND, Spinal, Cerebral Palsy, Disabilities (Physical & Mentally), ‘End of Life’, Trachea & Ventilated patients within their homes. I feel a nurse is one who opens the eyes of a new-born and gently closes the eyes of a dying man. It is indeed a high blessing to be the first and last moment to witness the beginning and end of life.”
How many of our award levels have you completed & when did you achieve these?
“I have achieved all my Graduate+ Awards:
Bronze – November 2019
Silver – November 2019
Gold – December 2019
Platinum – April 2020”
What first got you interested in completing your Graduate+ award with us?
“I am a mature student and felt I wanted to embrace everything that BCU had to offer. I haven't had the student experience in life that my peers have had as I have always worked since I was 9 years old and lived on my own since I was 17, so I decided to take full advantage on everything provided.”
You tell us you currently work for the NHS and Military? Firstly, this is an amazing thing to be doing alongside your studies! Can you tell us more about your role & what it entails?
“I started working for MPFT (Bank staff) since 2017 on the eating disorder & self-harm and mother & baby wards as an HSW. I also started working for MMP (Locum/ad hock) around the same time if not a few months earlier as an HCA on the Neuro and CT wards.
My duties (MPFT) would entail:
Supporting on one-to-ones
Supervision at mealtimes
De-escalation Management Intervention (DMI trained)
Wound Care and First Aid
Prevent, promote and preserve life of an individual
Work with The Multidisciplinary Team
My duties (MMP) would entail:
Personal care and support of wounded soldiers
Assist with transfers where and when required for those amputees and neuro patients
Prevent, promote and preserve the life of individual personnel's suffering with critical PTSD/critical trauma and neurological conditions retrieved from the frontline
Working with The Multidisciplinary Team”
You mentioned during our chat that you previously travelled to South Africa on a voluntary working project in veterinary and animal welfare – can you tell us more about your experiences there and how this has benefitted you?
“I would like to think that I have always been a selfless person who enjoys doing acts of kindness through selfless devotional work. Being out in South Africa working in shanty towns, townships and more modernised areas has allowed me to experience the diversity and at points hardship which individuals face daily in order to care for their beloved pets.
The reality though is tough, and I have witnessed a lot from neurological issues, dog fighting and the after effects, contagious viruses/diseases and parasites which can have detrimental immediate effects. Working alongside the veterinary surgeon throughout my time there as allowed me to fulfil my passion in animal welfare and leading small rescue operations.
I participated in:
Suturing after operations (castrations & spays)
Administration of Medication (all routes)
Communication with The Multidisciplinary Team
General husbandry and care of domestic and wild animals
Fundraising for TEARS
Providing free mobile education in animal husbandry and care of domestic animals to the people in local townships and shanty towns in order to maintain their beloved pet's health.
This experience has allowed me to work with a diverse and wonderful array of individuals both human and animal. It has given me the chance to experience the world in a new light and that being resourceful means thinking outside the box and using what you have-to hand, in times of need is paramount especially in critical circumstances. Textbook guidelines are good to know but in the real world you're going to need the adaptability and skills to progress and thrive in work and life.”
Have you done or participated in any other university activities, campaigns etc.?
“I had signed up to be the SALs REP for my cohort as a first-year nursing student (paediatric field) and again for 09/20. I have signed up with Rosetta Stone to learn multiple languages for the next three years. I have joined HELS Study Abroad and wish to participate on one or two of their trips abroad as a student nurse to gain further experience. Other relevant self-learning I have participated in in order to continue my professional development (CPD) is through E-learning courses, TEDx talks, YouTube videos, MED tube, events and conferences such as:
The Edward Jenner Programme – Leadership
NHS – E-learning
LinkedIn – E-learning (premium members)
RCNi E-learning & RCNi decision learning
If you had to give a new 1st year student advice on completing their Grad+ award with us what would you say?
“Think of all the experiences you’ve had, situations you’ve been put in and lessons you’ve be taught throughout your life (both good and bad) and visualise those moments when filling out each question towards your award. By reflecting on these experiences, you are highlighting key areas about yourself and therefore allowing yourself to begin to work on your weaknesses for the greater good and turn your strengths into passion and drive towards your own personal goals. Someone once told me “Visualise your highest self. Start turning up as her”, from that moment on I have learnt to fall in love with as many things as possible, stay close to those who make me feel like sunshine, and (Richard Branson) if ever I am to receive and offer to progress in my future career to grab it with both hands – and learning how to do it later.”
Finally, what are your next steps for the following year to come?
“Work on my SALs REP skills, apply for HELS student nurse experience abroad trip and go, carry on with my CPD online e-learning courses and study (reading) more than I have this year. I would love to progress further with Rosetta Stone as this will allow me to enhance my language portfolio, skill set and confidence ready for future career goals working for MSF/Doctors Without Borders.”
Wow, we feel inspired from just listening to all of Gemma’s achievements, from volunteering abroad to working for the UK forces & immersing herself into everything BCU has to offer – this is once again great proof of just what is possible when you go the extra mile like Gemma has.
Would you like to share your Graduate+ journey with us? Message us via social media or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org & we can speak further!