Career Change – Nursing & Operating Theatre Team

Career Change – Nursing & Operating Theatre Team

Career Change – Nursing & Operating Theatre Team

We recently spoke to James, Katrina and Victoria, who are all connected to the Armed Forces. James is ex-service and his partner is still serving and Katrina and Victoria are Military spouses. They all had something in common, they all wanted to diversify and grow. And they did. Read their stories about their time at Oxford Brookes University where they all received degrees in either Nursing or within the Operating Theatre environment.

Nursing (Adult) | BSc (Hons) – single |Approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)

Adult nurses need to be able to demonstrate competence in the fundamentals of nursing care across the patient’s lifespan.

We recognise that as the context of healthcare delivery is changing, the ability to work flexibly and inter-professionally and collaboratively in a way which is meaningful and relevant is essential.
This new and exciting curriculum is designed to give graduating Adult Nurses the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to influence improvements in practice, and support them to develop their own professional responsibility towards advancing the profession.
 This three-year pre-registration BSc (Hons) degree gives you the chance to undertake an Adult Nursing course leading to registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council. The course is available part-time and full-time on both the Oxford and Swindon campuses and has entry points in September and January.

Operating Department Practice BSc | BSc (Hons) – single | Approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)

The Operating Department Practice course is mainly based in the South-West, with academic contact primarily at our Joel Joffe Building, Swindon campus. It offers a unique opportunity to develop the knowledge and clinical skills required to deliver care to patients undergoing surgery. During your studies you will gain a very wide range of experience in specialist operating theatre environments and associated clinical areas within the hospital setting, such as adult intensive care. As a member of the operating theatre team, you will work alongside medical and other healthcare professionals.

 

James Smith

BSc Dual Reg Adult and Mental Health (Oxford)

Previous role

I had a full military career as an Air Despatcher, so very far removed from the nursing spectrum. Despatching equipment and stores out of aircraft in flight via parachute was a very different prospect to nursing. I did however take a role kicking and screaming where I had responsibility for family and soldier welfare, suicide prevention, health care committees and training and signposting families to organisations external to the military that could help with many holistic, wider life problems.

What attracted you to study at Oxford Brookes?

I heard Oxford Brookes had an excellent reputation in both the Swindon and Oxford campuses and also in amongst healthcare professionals in both locations. The facilities when I visited looked state-of-the-art and the staff were extremely encouraging and supportive at every single step. No question was ever a problem and timely replies and assistance always assured.

What is it about the course here that appealed to you as a military spouse?

As a spouse it is vital when in new locations to plan your short or longer stay there and see what infrastructure exists to support your plan if you have one. My wife was at RAF Lyneham and due to move to RAF Brize Norton with us moving to RAF Fairford geographically closer to Swindon for home and closer to Brize Norton for my wife’s work. When approaching Brookes, I found they really understood the dynamics of military spouses and the pressures you are under with regards to deployments, possible assistance which could be needed during the course due to this and were very receptive and helpful with guidance. At no point did anyone staff member say maybe you will struggle or maybe it’s not possible right now. It was an instant come and study and we can work a plan when it’s required. Which for most spouses, especially us with children, it is vital we know that our commitment to the study and course is matched by the providers commitment to you as people beyond the student nurse role…

How have the staff (academic and administrative) accommodated your personal circumstances?

Oxford Brookes firstly assisted me with my own departure from the military, I was in university nine months before my departure date and any meetings, appointments I had during discharge they facilitated my attendance there and were so supportive. So I suppose when my wife went into her deployment cycle only recently I shouldn’t have been surprised with the level of support given. The placement team and cohort leads arranged for me to have static placements in Swindon to allow being closer to home, while my wife is training and then subsequently deployed oversea. Greatly reducing stress and impact on my daughter during this time and in case of emergency. I don’t ask very often for any assistance, but it is a weight off for myself and wife that help is there when requested. We also live on an American Air Force Base, which is high level security and often throw security lockdowns and exercises in to the mix and I can honestly say staff have been fantastic in understanding once again these very different dynamics. I couldn’t have asked for more understanding and assistance, if being honest.

What would you recommend other military spouses consider when thinking about or applying to university?

A lot of spouses I know put off or don’t actually commit to University even with desires to do so. Yes University can be a long road and is a large commitment but there is so much talent untapped amongst the military community and movement often leads the thought I haven’t time or we’ll move! I say go for it, follow your dreams or chosen paths and take a profession you can then be mobile with especially nursing. Once qualified Dual Reg Adult and MH I can follow my wife just about anywhere and not worry if employment exists, meaning income, employment and stability for our family and of course my own career and sanity. Even part-time is available and the facilities and training at Brookes is first rate.

What is the most challenging aspect of being a student and a military spouse?

Sometimes diaries conflict so there is constant planning and discussion about deconfliction of both our routines and that every now and then the Military agenda cannot be moved, but we still find a way around that and I find planning way ahead helps so much. Placement has even been an issue which is what a lot of people worry about but I find if you are honest and speak and ask, rather than demand, anything is possible.

What has been your best experience of studying at Brookes?

The camaraderie between the cohort, support is also everywhere, students, staff, placement and the learning experience for me has been fantastic. Coming from no clinical background means everyday is a school day!! I also feel alive on placement and dealing with people, some in their most vulnerable moments, is enriching and the most worthwhile of situations to be allowed into.

Would you recommend Oxford Brookes as a good university for military spouses to study at?

Yes.

What are your plans post-graduation?

I aim to work within a dual (crossover post) both Adult and MH.  A lot of mention is [sic] choose one or the other but having done four years in University I would like to use the training I have been provided and attained and many trusts and specialism are now tuned into the value of dual qualified staff and the role moving forward within integrated care. DN or Community Based MH and Acute MH – A&E all appeal. The world is our oyster.

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Katrina Spanton

BSc Adult Nursing in Swindon

Previous role: Urgent care call advisor

What attracted you to study at Oxford Brookes?

Location.

What is it about the course here that appealed to you as a military spouse?

Support that a small campus is able to offer.

How have the staff (academic and administrative) accommodated your personal circumstances?

Excellent.

What would you recommend other military spouses consider when thinking about or applying to university?

Definitely.

What is the most challenging aspect of being a student and a military spouse?

Husband on detachment and childcare.

What has been your best experience of studying at Brookes?

meeting wonderful friends experiencing the same and helping each other through the tough times.

Would you recommend Oxford Brookes as a good university for military spouses to study at?

Yes.

What are your plans post-graduation?

I have been offered a position already.

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Victoria Hanley

BSc Adult Nursing in Swindon

Previous role: Housewife

What attracted you to study at Oxford Brookes?

Convenience, reviews, small and less daunting university.

What is it about the course here that appealed to you as a military spouse?

I am posted here for three years and it was the right time for me to begin my nursing degree after wanting to do it for years.

How have the staff (academic and administrative) accommodated your personal circumstances?

I haven’t experienced any difficulties as yet, however, placements at Great Western Hospital are more challenging as I have to leave at 6am, I find community placements more accommodating. When my husband is away I have to fly my mum over from Northern Ireland to care for my daughter as childminders don’t accommodate mornings this early.

What would you recommend other military spouses consider when thinking about or applying to university?

Being posted to the area for long enough to see the degree through and always have a backup for childcare when your [spouse] is on exercise/deployment.

What is the most challenging aspect of being a student and a military spouse?

Being independent for the majority of the time with organising childcare, juggling children and study and the 13-hour shifts are very hard.

What has been your best experience of studying at Brookes?

Gaining new friends outside the military bubble, I didn’t enjoy baby groups etc. I’ve found that university has given me a new lease of life.

Would you recommend Oxford Brookes as a good university for military spouses to study at?

Yes.

What are your plans post-graduation?

A part-time community based nursing role for convenience until my husband leaves the army and we move back to Northern Ireland where we have a larger support network to facilitate nursing shifts.

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