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Student Perspective | Louise McCarthy | Adult Nursing (Hons)

Louise shares her experiences of studying with us
23rd June 2021
Louise is studying our BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing programme. From a family of nurses, Louise felt drawn towards work in this field and started as a Nursing Assistant. She quickly became aware of the BSc in Adult Nursing at the University of Gibraltar and embarked on the degree course. She explains why she is convinced this is the best decision she has made.

Why did you choose to study at the University of Gibraltar?

I previously studied for a degree at the Canterbury Christ Church University in Events Management. When I returned to Gibraltar, I found that this industry was quite difficult to get into. I saw some vacancies for Nursing Assistants, so I decided to give this a try; so many of my family members are nurses, it is basically in my blood. I completely fell in love with the work. Then, whilst training as a Nursing Assistant, the degree at the University of Gibraltar was recommended by some of the lecturers in the School of Health Studies. I decided to wait it out a little bit as I wanted the experience of working in the hospital before just going straight into the degree, but I believe that going for it in the end was the best decision that I made.

What has your experience of studying the BSc in Adult Nursing been like so far?

So far, it has been really good! Of course, due to Covid not everything has gone to plan. Some of our placements were cancelled but instead we were given the opportunity to work in the vaccination clinic which counted as one of our placements and this meant that we didn’t have to make up any time in the summer or anything like that. Considering the situation that we have been in over the past year, everything has been run very smoothly.

You were involved in the vaccine rollout; what was this experience like?

We broke up for Christmas in December and we were not sure what was going to happen with our placements on our return because of the increasingly difficult situation. Then, we received an email from the director of our course explaining that he’d had a request to ask whether the students could be involved in the vaccination clinic. We had very intense training: we had many online courses on vaccination and infection control and then we also had practice on the mannequins in the University.

What other placements have you been on during your course?

We started off doing some taster placements just before Christmas which gave us the opportunity to see different outpatients; we went to different clinic areas such as the Primary Care Centre, we spent time with GPs, we went to the ENT, and more. We were exploring different practice areas where patients were not actually admitted to the hospital; they would come with their problems, or ongoing problems and we would see how they were treated. We also had placements in the ERS; this year we have mainly focused on elderly care to understand the basics of nursing the elderly. These opportunities have been fascinating as there are so many health facilities for the public in Gibraltar. When I worked as a Nursing Assistant, I was on permanent night shifts so there were many practice areas I did not get to experience as these are run during the day. We’ve been able to learn a lot about long term conditions and how these affect patients and their daily living – the whole experience has been amazing.

What was your experience of the admissions process?

It was very straightforward. I applied through the admissions form; I had to hand in some documentation and a couple of references which were easily available from my supervisors at the hospital. After applying, we had a selection day where aside from the interview, we also had a couple of different stations that we had to work through. We would be given different scenarios and each interviewer would ask us a variety of questions to see what kind of person we were.

What has your experience of studying at the University of Gibraltar been like so far?

It has been amazing! I am at home, so I feel completely comfortable. With the university being quite small compared to larger scale universities in the UK, I feel I have had a more personalized approach to learning. I have been able to approach my lecturers with any problems I have had with my studies as it is very easy to contact them. Aside from that, the Dean is always a pleasure to speak to and she is always around for anything that we need.

What are planning to do once you graduate?

I am planning to continue working as a nurse in Gibraltar. I would absolutely love to work in either the A&E department or in the ICU; I love the thought of the intensity and adrenaline that these departments would give me. I understand how draining these sorts of shifts can be, however I am more than ready for the challenge.
  • BSc (Hons)

    BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing

    Adult Nursing is a highly skilled, knowledgeable and caring profession. Throughout the programme you will develop critical, analytical and reflective skills that will enable you to make sound judgements and provide safe and effective evidence-based care.[...]

    3 Years

    Yes Placement option

    Full Time

    View Course