Amy Jones, BSc Adult Nursing
Winner of the Hywel Dda Outstanding Achievement Award at Winter Graduation 2018, Amy Jones tells us about her time at Swansea University and her hopes for the future...
What did you do prior to studying at Swansea University?
When my daughter was born in 2008 I became a stay at home mum, but my dream had always been to become a nurse. When my daughter was two I decided to pursue this dream, starting by attending evening classes to re-sit my Maths GCSE and gain a GCSE in Psychology. My desire was then to enrol on the Access to Health Course at Pembrokeshire College so that I could obtain the needed qualifications to apply for University.
To support my application, I spent time volunteering at a local Nursing Home near to where I lived while my daughter attended early years school. As a result, my application to Pembrokeshire College was successful and I went on to complete the course with distinction giving me the confidence to apply to study my BS (Hons) Adult Nursing at Swansea University Carmarthen Campus.
Why did you choose to study at Swansea University?
For me the option to travel away from home to go to University was not feasible due to my commitments as a mum. My husband’s job was well established and based in Pembrokeshire so moving was not really an option.
Swansea University offered the fantastic option to study at their St David’s Park Carmarthen Campus which opened the door for me to be able to peruse my dream career that I may never have achieved had this opportunity not been available.
Can you tell us about your course?
The Nursing Department in Swansea University Carmarthen Campus are dedicated to providing the highest quality academic lectures and practice suite sessions to their Nursing Students throughout their 3 years of study. They also provide a caring environment that supports you as a student with any personal challenges that you may face along the way. Your wellbeing through out your degree is as important to them as your academic achievements.
As a result, and as a Student Nurse, I felt part of an extended family that also included the mentors and clinical environments that I was fortunate enough to have experienced while on placement within Withybush General Hospital and the Pembrokeshire Community. The opportunities afforded to me to gain a diverse experience as a Student Nurse and have without a doubt enabled me to grow in confidence and ability in my role as a Nurse.
What part of the course do you/did you enjoy the most?
Without a doubt my clinical placements within Withybush General Hospital and surrounding Pembrokeshire Community. This is where my passion to become a Nurse was reinforced under the dedication and nurturing of not only the mentors but all members of the health professions.
I have been inspired and supported in the provision of patient centred care that puts the needs and wishes of the person we are caring for at the forefront of every decision, striving for the best quality and evidence based care that can be achieved, to enable the best quality of life for our patients.
What’s been your highlight whilst studying at Swansea University?
Being awarded a fellowship grant in 2016 to travel to Guangzhou Nursing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in China for a 10-day Nursing Summer Course. This was a once in a lifetime experience I will never forget and one that I would never have gained had it not been for Swansea University providing this opportunity.
I travelled alone as the first Student of Swansea University to partake in this experience and as it turned out I was the first Western student they had ever received at Guangzhou Nursing University. I gained a greater understanding of myself from this experience that empowered me throughout the last year of my Nursing degree and will continue to throughout my Nursing career with the knowledge that anything is possible if you are determined and dedicated enough to see it through.
What are your plans/hopes for the future?
During my Nursing Degree I gained a passion for the care of the ‘older and fragile persons and Dementia’. While on clinical placement in year 2 of my degree on Ward 12 in Withybush General Hospital, I was inspired by the commitment and innovation of the team based there in the care of ‘older and fragile persons and Dementia’. I completed my Management Placement here in my final year and was thrilled to gain a position within the team upon qualifying.
I now wish to gain further knowledge and experience throughout my career in relation to the care of ‘older and fragile persons and Dementia’ and hope to be successful in completing a Masters’ degree in Dementia care that will enable me to gain a specialist role in the future. Contributing to the ongoing research and improvement in care and treatment for people with dementia and their families and/or carers is something I look forward to.
How will your studies help you pursue your chosen profession?
Through the completion of my Adult Nursing Degree I have gained an excellent baseline of knowledge and skills to begin my Nursing career. Nursing requires continuous development in order to provide the best evidence based care to our patients. The skills I have gained throughout my degree in researching and my ability to adapted to new methods and techniques will be extremely valuable through out my progression and development, leading hopefully to me fulfilling a more specialised role within Nursing in the future.
Would you recommend Swansea University to other students?
Yes, without a doubt the personal and academic support I received throughout my degree from lecturers, personal tutors and mentors gave me the confidence I needed to achieve my full potential and exceed my own personal expectations. Swansea University also provide many other opportunities such as travelling abroad and working as a student ambassador which enhances your experience as a student.
How do you feel about winning this award?
I feel extremely humbled and honoured to receive this award, everything I have done and achieved during my time as a student has been for the love of Nursing and the incredibly special role we fulfil within our patient’s journeys. During my final year I had to work exceptionally hard to achieve my best whilst supporting and caring for my dad who sadly passed away last November from a brain tumour. I’m glad that he was able to see me complete my degree and was extremely proud of me for achieving a 1st with (Hons), I know that my winning this award would also have brought a huge smile of joy and pride to his face.