Student insight - Healthcare Sciences (physiological science)

Why did you choose Plymouth University?

Plymouth is a beautiful city – it reminds me a bit of home, which is why I chose it. I also had friends who were studying down here and they recommended Plymouth University. The city is filled with great sights and things to do around the Barbican and the Hoe. After spending two years here, I feel right at home when I’m out and about in Plymouth; it has a great night life, the people here are friendly and welcoming, as well as being close to other areas of interest such as Cornwall. It truly is a great place to study and to live.

Why did you choose the course and what do you want to gain from it?

I wanted a course that gave me the opportunity to work in healthcare, I considered nursing, perhaps becoming a paramedic, but I fancied something that was perhaps a bit more specialised. I had chosen it from a personal point of view as it allowed me to specialise in respiratory and sleep physiology; my grandfather had been diagnosed with lung problems previously. I hoped to gain experience and knowledge, as well as meeting new people and studying on this course has given me plenty!

The programme covers many topics in the first year, followed by more specialist knowledge for the 2nd and 3rd year of the specialism of your choice. It allows you to develop your skills further, not just as a practitioner but also as a person; you can truly see the benefits and the rewards of working in the healthcare industry – I know I have, and I enjoy it all!

What was your entry route into the course?

I originally applied for a different healthcare related programme, but I also heard about this one as well and I thought well why not? And after speaking to the admissions tutor and getting more information about it, I opted for a place on the course. So far, it’s been one of the best decisions of my life!

As required, biology and chemistry were the big A-Levels that the course demanded, however having a good personality and a good mindset for caring for others is a key quality. As with many courses; the first year is designed to bring everyone up to speed, followed by specialising into either cardiac or respiratory physiology in years 2 and 3.

What are your views on the placement element of your course?

Placement on the course is essential. It has given me many opportunities to put what I’ve learnt into practice, and how each part fits in. It also allows me to understand my role further, especially within a multidisciplinary team. Being the only respiratory and sleep physiology student has played to my favour, I’ve been given many opportunities to learn and further enhance my skills as well as visit various other hospitals in the South West. 
While on placement, I’m always welcomed and more importantly, made to feel like a valued team member with responsibilities, not just an observer in the background. 

What are the good and bad bits of the course? If there is anything negative, how have you overcome this?

There are only good and positive things about the course! One of the positive things is that the academic tutors and lecturers are all very supportive and helpful , they are willing to spend time to go over things and offer advice if needed. Additionally, we have our own clinical skills laboratory to practice what we have learned on functioning clinical equipment. 

Has the course changed your career goals at all?

It has opened many opportunities that I didn’t even know existed ; I have always wanted to work in healthcare and I believe that this course has given me the opportunity to do so, as well as options to further my study in other specialist areas.

Where are you now?

I am currently in the 3rd and final year of the degree programme and am currently working on placement. It has been a long journey from year one, but it has been worth it. I have much more experience and understanding than I did and feel more confident as well as having more self-belief in the impact of what I do to help others. 

Is there any advice you would give to anyone interested in an education course?

Studying and learning for something that you believe in and truly love will leave you with many opportunities and the chance for an exciting and brilliant career. For me, it’s only the beginning!