Nursing dream achieved after career change for Wrexham Glyndwr University student
A Wrexham Glyndŵr University student is set to achieve her dream of helping people when they need it the most after switching her office job for a career in nursing.
29-year-old Lauren Hutchinson is set to graduate with a BN (Hons) in Adult Nursing after working in administration in a marketing organisation and a secondary school.
Lauren, from Farndon near Chester, said that biggest challenge she faced on the course was adapting from her old office job to studying and working in healthcare settings
“I chose to be a nurse because I wanted to have a positive impact on society,” she said.
“People meet nurses through some of the most vulnerable parts of their lives and I wanted to be that person they can trust; to be that friendly face for them in their time of need.
“Working in healthcare has its ups and downs and sometimes you will come across people that have a big impact on your life and sometimes it can be quite upsetting.
“Luckily, I have had very supportive mentors and colleagues and I have learnt greatly about the importance of working as a team but also taking some time out for self-care at the end of a long day.
“It was a huge change for me but I have no regrets going back to university to train to be a nurse.”
The Covid-19 pandemic meant that Lauren and her colleagues had online lectures and tutorials.
She said: “We still had quite a bit of work to do before we were due to head out on our final clinical placement for 12 weeks including a dissertation and exam.
“It was difficult to work from home and at the time, there was still a lot of uncertainty about whether we would finish when we were expected to but our tutors were extremely supportive.
“My last clinical placement which finished last week was based in the community so I didn’t have the same level of exposure to patients with Covid as my peers who were placed in acute hospitals.
“However, working in the community meant being in contact with a lot of elderly and vulnerable patients, some who later down the line were Covid positive. We had to make sure we were wearing adequate PPE and taking extra precautions when visiting patient’s houses to ensure we protected society’s most vulnerable.”
During her course, Lauren was based mainly in Chester and Leighton, but she also had the opportunity to be part of the Community Care Collaborative (CCC) in Wrexham. The collaborative is a community interest company that has taken over the running of four GP surgeries in Wrexham county from Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.
She said: “The new way of providing care has been a privilege to be part of and it’s great to see the adaptation from an old style GP practice to a new one where a wide range of professionals are involved under one service.
“As well as your GPs and nurses, the Community Care Collaborative provides many other services which help to tackle not just the medical needs of a person but their social aspects too. They also support the homeless community as well which was a great thing to be part of.”
Lauren praised the lecturers at Glyndŵr for the support they provided during her studies.
She said: “They have all been amazing and I have to give credit to them for having to adapt and try and work in these extraordinary circumstances. Moving to online based work must have been tricky for them to organise but they did it in a faultless way.
“I was part way through my dissertation and my personal tutor was on hand for video calls whenever I needed her. I am just incredibly sad we didn’t manage to get together as a cohort with our tutors to have a proper goodbye and say a big thank you to them.
“I’ve worked incredibly hard over the last three years and the sense of achievement I feel now is amazing. I am incredibly proud of myself for going to university as a mature student but I am so glad that I did. I am so excited for my future and to be able to call myself a nurse.”
To find out more about studying the BN (Hons) Adult Nursing programme at WGU, in a subject area rated top in Wales for overall satisfaction and fourth in the UK for satisfaction with teaching*, visit: https://www.glyndwr.ac.uk/en/Undergraduatecourses/Nursing/
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