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Poppy Croucher

Children's Nursing (BSc) BSc (Hons)
Poppy Croucher

'Looking after patients and their families on placement has been one of the most amazing aspects for myself.'

How did you develop an interest in Nursing and why did you choose to study BSc Child Nursing?

I first developed an interest for Nursing when I decided to complete a week’s work experience on an adult ward when I was in year 10. After this I wanted to gain more experience of working in a hospital so decided that I would apply to volunteer on the children’s ward at my local hospital. Although I enjoyed working on the adult ward I always knew I wanted to work with children. The volunteering experience was invaluable and during my three years there I became aware that nursing was definitely for me. I wanted to be able to care for people and make a difference. Personal experiences of friends receiving care for life threatening conditions also led me in aspiring to become a nurse.

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

I always wanted to go to university in London as the life style was appealing. I attended a taster day in my first year of sixth form, organised by the School of Health Sciences for potential Nursing and Midwifery students. This was when I knew that City University of London was the place I wanted to study. I felt that I would be comfortable learning here and the opportunities available were appealing. When I returned for the selection day/interview this was when I knew that City was definitely for me and it was my first choice of university.

What has been a highlight on the course for yourself?

The highlight of the course has been getting to know my cohort and seminar group. The further we have progressed through the course, the closer we have become and we have been there to support each other; even through the challenging moments. Due to the nature of the course and being in smaller seminar groups, you get the opportunity to work alongside your colleagues closely and make really good friends.

Have you participated in any extracurricular activities at City? For example, being a student rep, taking part in any student union societies, volunteering.

In my first and second year of university I attended the City Dance Society. In third year I have become a student rep which will enable me to obtain feedback from my cohort. This feedback will be given to the lecturers on what we think is being done well and what could be improved. Throughout my three years I have also been a student ambassador. One of the jobs that I will remember in this position is going to a local sixth-form and helping them prepare for their nursing interviews.

What have you enjoyed most about your time at City?

Looking after patients and their families on placement has been one of the most amazing aspects for myself. The range of opportunities and support has helped me to enjoy this experience and work towards becoming a qualified children’s nurse.

How have you found the teaching on your course?

The teaching on the course has been good throughout. Lecturers are knowledgeable and want the best for you. It has been informative and relevant to nursing. The lecturers have been supportive, always willing to answer questions and help if you don’t understand.

How have you benefited from the facilities available at City? (e.g. clinical skills centre)

As a nursing student the clinical skills centre has significantly benefited my learning. Being able to practice skills before going out to placement helps to increase your confidence and to prepare for your practical skills exams. The library has relevant books and resources to support you throughout the course and the subject librarian has been supportive. For example, with helping to prepare me for the dissertation.

Could you tell us about your placements; where have they been based? What have you enjoyed most? What aspects have you found most challenging?

Throughout my training I have had the opportunity to complete a range of placements in different hospitals, such as, ‘Great Ormond Street’ and ‘The Royal London Hospital’. During my first year I had a general ward (6 weeks) and health visiting placement (6 weeks). In my second year I went to day surgery (5 weeks), Accident and Emergency (4 weeks), Special needs School (4 weeks) and private sector outpatients (4 weeks). We also had the opportunity to organise a two week elective placement, so I chose to do mine on an Oncology ward outside of London. So far in third year I have done another general ward placement (4 weeks) and cardiac intensive care (4 weeks). I am currently awaiting to find out where my final placement will be and we get to select our preferences of where to go to for the 13 weeks.

What I like most about City is that we get to go to a range of wards and settings in different places; ranging from acute wards to community settings. This really helps you to develop a range of knowledge and helps to give you a good idea of where you want to work when you qualify. I have really enjoyed working in a variety of locations and having the opportunity to learn a significant amount. Placement at times has been very challenging but it is also very rewarding and you have a range of people to support you. It’s amazing when you walk away from a shift knowing that you did something that helped a family and their child.

How will your placements help you with your future career?

My placements will significantly help me with my future career. All the skills learnt and opportunities I have had will lead to me becoming an improved nurse and to provide evidence based practice. Working in a range of areas has helped me to know what clinical settings I would like to go on to work in and those which are not for me.

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

During the rest of my time at City, University of London I am looking forward to completing my final placement of third year and doing our last few weeks of Simulated-practice. This will give me time to consolidate all my knowledge learnt over the past couple of years and prepare me to be a qualified nurse. During my time at university I have become very close to my seminar group, so I look forward to spending the last few months of our course with them as we work towards becoming qualified nurses and supporting each other to get there.

What do you plan to do after you graduate?

After I graduate I am hoping to either work in Paediatric Oncology or Cardiology. These are the two main areas I have developed an interest for during my time as a student. I hope to work in London at one of the hospitals I have had placements at because of the amount of opportunities available at these trusts.

What would be your advice to anyone considering studying BSc Child Nursing?

My advice to anyone considering studying BSc Child Nursing would be to stay calm and focused throughout the selection process. When you get to university it is important to work hard but to also to find time to do the things that you enjoy. Get to know your seminar group and cohort as it’s really important to look out for each other. Make use of the support offered by the university and placements; for example, your personal tutor and the practice education team. Take every opportunity given to you (especially on placement) by showing willingness to learn and develop your understanding.