Joy O’Gorman – BSc (Hons) Nursing (Adult Health)
Joy’s journey at the University of Plymouth Truro School of Nursing - The Knowledge Spa
Name: Joy O'Gorman
Course: BSc (Hons) Nursing (Adult Health)
Location: The Knowledge Spa, Truro
"My advice to applicants is to come with an open mind and a willingness to learn. You really will thrive and grow in confidence here. As a mature student, I was anxious about my ability to learn and fit in, but those concerns were soon lifted by the welcoming and supportive arms of the University of Plymouth and the Knowledge Spa campus."
Studying at Truro Knowledge Spa
"The Knowledge Spa campus is purpose built and dedicated to medical training, so the whole vibe is inspiring for me as a student nurse. The library is within the same building, as are the clinical simulated wards, lecture theatres, seminar rooms, and the offices for the academic tutors and research teams. I can nip into the library and ask the experienced library staff for help with researching articles, books or referencing."
"The receptionists are a great arm of support because they are always happy to help and know everyone’s name, which is astounding."
"Whilst studying for my degree, I have been able to reach out to primary or acute services in Cornwall and ask to attend additional clinic/ward days for my learning. We recently had an assignment on Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), I contacted a COPD Pulmonary Rehab Clinic so that I could witness first-hand how patients, nurses and other healthcare professionals work together. I learnt so much from that visit and the learning opportunities during the degree programme are boundless.
"Knowledge Spa is such a great learning environment, so focussed and everyone is very supportive. I am thrilled that I opted to study here, even if it has meant an hours travel each day. The extra hour on the train gives me valuable reading time. I am loving every second of studying for this degree. It is incredibly challenging, but that is what I signed up for."
"It is one of the best decisions I that I have ever made. It is life changing."
"My personal tutor Sharon Evans is fantastic. I know she is rooting for me and has taken it as her personal mission to create learning opportunities that allow me to develop and flourish."
"The lecturer to student ratio at the Truro campus is just right. We have a cohort of approximately 100 nursing students, which for me is one of the reasons why I chose to study at Knowledge Spa. The Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust (Treliske Hospital) is right next door and hosts clinical skills days for NHS staff and nursing students.
"The lecturers have all been inspiring. They encourage questions and are happy to engage to ensure you have grasped the module and know how to get the most out of it. If I go to a lecturer or module lead with an assignment problem, I am encouraged and supported on how best to follow it through which helps to set my mind at rest and points me in the right direction for future assignments."
Focus on skills
"Prior to starting the course at the University of Plymouth, I undertook an access course to bridge my learning gap as I am a mature student with no previous level four academic experience and I did not feel my academic writing skills were up to par. I failed my first university academic assignment. This was a huge learning curve and a blessing in disguise as it highlighted where I was going wrong and what I needed to change. The lecturers were fantastic and gave me great directional feedback. For the next assignment, I managed to obtain a top grade. The Writing Café sessions and the learning development team are also great resources which have helped with my academic writing skills."
"I have learnt so many clinical skills during simulation and when on placement. This has included drug administration, drug calculations, care planning, care giving, wound management, end of life care, respecting patient choices, post-operative care and learning how to perform a nursing assessment and diagnosis."
"I have realised that I don’t have to be walking encyclopedia, but I do need to know how to be professional, work as part of a multi-disciplinary team and use evidence-based practice to provide the best patient centred care that I can."
"I have learnt about the importance of digital professionalism when using social media. Before this course I had never used Twitter, but now I am one of eight students nationally hosting the ‘WeStudentNurses’ Twitter account #WeStNs. This supports student nurses almost 365 days of the year in a professional way.
"The University of Plymouth have been innovative in their approach to enabling students to learn about digital professionalism. Teresa Chinn MBE, a pioneer in this field, leads an integrated module into the safe and professional way to use social media within healthcare."
Joy's placement experience
"My first placement was with a District Nursing Team. For seven weeks I was surrounded daily by six experienced Registered Nurses. Each day we visited patients in their own homes and I had the privilege of managing their individual care needs. This included administering insulin and Intramuscular injections, redressing patients’ leg ulcers and providing pressure ulcer prevention interventions. I also spent a day with the Palliative Care Nurse; the Community Matron; a General Practitioner; a GP Practice Nurse and attended a Multi-Disciplinary Team meeting to organise safe discharge from hospital of a vulnerable adult.
"My second placement was at a Pre-Operative Assessment Clinic in a local hospital. I spent a day with the blood conservation team who salvage patient blood during surgery. This blood is then saved, filtered and cleaned so it can be given back to the patient instead of using a blood transfusion. It truly is inspiring. The wealth of knowledge that I was exposed to is phenomenal. I was surrounded by nurses who specialise in ENT, Urology, Orthopaedics, Gynaecology and general surgery. I also get to work with other healthcare professionals in theatre, such as the anaesthetist, which has enabled me to better understand MDT roles."
"Being on placement is initially daunting, but you soon get into the swing of it and find your feet. I love being on placement and at University, the balance is just right."
Joy's most memorable experiences
- "Clinical practice days in the simulation ward at the University are always good fun, as you never know what emergency your lecturer will throw at you. You have to be ready to assess on your feet, perform an ABC assessment and use an Epi Pen."
- "I have co-hosted a national ‘We Student Nurse Tweet Chat’ which involved interacting with inspiring nurses, students and other health professionals on Twitter."
- "It was exciting when I gave my first intramuscular injection in placement. I will always remember my patient that day, as they were so kind and supportive. The injection went well, as I was under the close supervision of my mentor."
- "I have worked with the EPIC research team exploring innovative e-health initiatives. This has enabled me to present at a conference attended by NHS, council and local organisation leaders on applying e-health solutions to patient needs."
- "During placement, I followed a patient journey from their first pre-operative assessment through to theatre and into the recovery unit. I learnt to ‘scrub up’ for the operating theatre and witnessed the incredible care given by the surgeons, anaesthetists, nurses and post-operative recovery teams. I also learnt how the WHO theatre checklist is used correctly in order to keep the patient safe."