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Aoife Scanlan

Children's Nursing (BSc) BSc (Hons)

Aoife is a 3rd year BSc Child Nursing student. Prior to applying to City, she travelled across Africa and volunteered in hospitals and orphanages.

What were you doing before you came to study at City?

I completed A-levels in Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics and then took a gap year before applying to City. During my gap year I travelled across Africa, volunteering in orphanages and gaining clinical experience in hospitals.

How did you develop an interest in nursing and why did you choose to study BSc Children’s Nursing?

My interest in nursing developed while I was travelling around Africa. I was volunteering in an orphanage in Ghana when a young boy was taken ill, I’d sort of become his carer while I was out there so only seemed fitting that I take him to the hospital to get checked. While there, looking after this boy after he was discharged from the hospital, my nursing interest peaked and I applied and interviewed for City not long after.

Why did you decide to apply to study at City, University of London?

City ranks high in London for Nursing. I also liked the idea of having placements in different hospitals, trusts and specialities. I feel that the range of placements I get over the course, compared to that of other universities, will mean I am better prepared when I qualify as a nurse.

What is your favourite thing about studying at City, and about the course itself?

I’ve loved how all my placements have been in different settings, different specialities and different trusts. I’ve seen a whole host of rare and unusual conditions and procedures in some of the best paediatric hospitals in the country and in Europe. In terms of the course itself, I’ve been very well supported in terms of learning the theory, practising the basic skills and then experiencing it and combining the theory with the practice on placement.

How have you found the teaching and facilities on your course?

The teaching has been exceptional. My lecturers have gone above and beyond to make sure that it all makes sense. I’ve had ample opportunity and support when practicing my skills in the clinical simulation suite to make sure I’m confident on the wards caring for actual patients.

What are you most looking forward to during the rest of your time at City?

I’m looking forward to finishing, not because I haven’t enjoyed City, but because I love nursing and can’t wait to start doing it for real!

Where have you been on your clinical placements, and what have you enjoyed most about these experiences?

Clinically I’ve been placed at the Royal London Hospital, North Middlesex Hospital, Homerton Hospital and Great Ormond Street Hospital. Outside of the hospital I’ve also had placements with a community nursing team and in a special needs school. I’ve seen specialities such as gastroenterology, spinal and orthopaedic surgery, general paediatrics, neonatal intensive care and A&E! I’ve never had a bad experience on placement and enjoyed each one for a different reason! I’ve really enjoyed the variety of the different specialisms I’ve been able to see and work in.

What would be your advice to students about to start their first placement experience.

Before starting your first placement read up a little on the speciality of the ward you’re going to; but don’t try to learn and remember everything! Definitely invest in some comfy shoes, 12.5 hours is a long time to be on your feet so make sure you’re comfortable. Also make sure you get enough sleep, the shifts are long and you will be busy running around so get lots of rest in between shifts.

What kind of things are you involved in outside of your course?

When I am not in University or on placement, I volunteer with a charity called StreetDoctors, which also exists as a society at the University. We teach sessions to young people about the dangers of violence and what first aid they can do on the street to help if they ever find themselves in that situation. I am also a Marketing Student Ambassador at City and use CitySport, the university gym, a couple of times a week.

What do you plan to do after you graduate?

After graduating I want to travel a bit more while I wait for the Royal College of Nurses to add me to the register, so I can then get a job as a qualified paediatrics nurse. I hope to get a job in the children’s accident and emergency ward after qualifying.

What would be your top tip for our applicants?

Just be yourself at interview, your passions will come through and the lecturers leading the interviews will see that.