As the NHS celebrates its 70th anniversary today, we talk to outstanding student Emily Speirs, who has achieved the very top D* grades in her Advanced Level Health and Social Development course, setting her well on track to make her dreams of becoming a nurse come true.
Emily (18), from Burnley, is a former pupil of Blessed Trinity RC School and will be studying Adult Nursing at UCLan from September.
Q: Emily, you've done so well on your course at Burnley College Sixth Form Centre and are a step closer to your dream career now. How have your Tutors helped you throughout your studies?
A: My Tutors have been great, especially Lorraine Jones, she's been fantastic and always there to help if I've been struggling with a topic. She always encourages us to do our best.
Q: Why did you choose to study at Burnley College Sixth Form Centre?
A: Burnley College Sixth Form Centre was always going to be my first choice because of its outstanding reputation and the teaching is outstanding
Q: You've been on many trips and taken part in lots of exciting activities as part of your Advanced Vocational course, Emily: which ones stand out in your mind?
A: Visiting Bradford University was really helpful. I knew I wanted to study Nursing but this trip allowed me to see just what an adult nursing course involved it gave me a good insight into the teaching methods that I'd experience in the different facilities. It was helpful and interesting.
Q: Tell us about the placements and volunteering you've done as part of your course.
A: I joined the East Lancashire Hospitals Trust Cadet Scheme as part of my course and, as a Cadet, have been on placements around Burnley General Hospital and Pendle Community Hospital. I’ve had placements in lots of different departments, including the optical surgery and the Wilson Hey Unit, where I observed different operations.
In my first year I was also in the Children’s Outpatients' Department, where I weighted and checked the heights of children, and an ante-natal ward, where I took mums-to-be for scans.
In the second year I was on a placement on the Renal Unit where I would set up the equipment for patients before they started their dialysis. I was then on the Dermatology Unit where I, along with the nurses, helped to place ointment on skin conditions. I also saw minor operations relating to moles etc. and was able to attend appointments in the consultant’s office with different patients, seeing what their condition was, how it was treated and how follow-up appointments were scheduled.
Finally, I had a placement on a ward at Pendle Community Hospital, where I was involved in one-to-one care with patients (alongside another member of staff) and maintaining patients' hydration levels.
Q: So, you've made outstanding progress so far, Emily, but what does the future hold for you? What are your goals?
A: I plan to study Adult Nursing at UCLAN in Preston, starting in September, and become an Adult Nurse, although I'm still not sure what specific field of adult nursing I wish to go into.
Q: That's a great career plan ... have you always wanted to become a Nurse?
A: Being on the Cadet scheme as part of my Advanced Level Health and Social Development course really helped me to decide what I wanted to do - Adult Nursing. It's provided me with excellent placements which showed me which specialism within Nursing most suited me and which I enjoyed the most.
Also, personal experiences of being in hospital because of my Spina Bifida have made me want to help people. I've been helped throughout my life by the amazing doctors and nurses of the NHS and I want to be part of that. My dream is to treat every patient to be the very best of my ability.
Is your ambition to work in the NHS as a nurse or other medical professional? Her at Burnley College Sixth Form Centre we offer the courses that can help you reach your career goals. Call Student Services on 01282 733373 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.