Nursing - Adult BSc (Hons)
Jamie wasn’t sure if university would be right for him as he’s much more practical than academic. But he was keen to jump into his lifelong dream career of being a nurse, and knew that university was one of the best ways to get a foot in the door of his chosen industry. After succeeding in his degree and throwing himself into work experience opportunities, Jamie is now thriving in his role of Critical Care Outreach Practitioner and quickly working his way up the ranks.
“I always knew what I wanted to do for a career and knew that in order to be a registered nurse, I would have to go to university. I chose Adult Nursing as it opened up more doors. As an Adult Nurse, you can also do children’s nursing, so I felt like there were more opportunities and career prospects.
Not only is BCU a very well respected university for nursing and health care courses, I also loved the fact that it is a modern, metropolitan university. There is some amazing technology and really cool facilities.
I am currently a Critical Care Outreach Practitioner and Charge Nurse at the Royal United Hospital in Bath. Although I am an intensive care nurse, I work with other roles, so I also support teams on the wards and admissions into intensive care, so I act as a bridge between people on the wards and the intensive care team. I also support with medical emergencies, trauma calls and many other things.
Before my current role, I was working in intensive care at the Bristol Royal Infirmary, and before there I worked in intensive care at Worcester Royal Hospital and at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital. So I’ve moved around a bit and tested out what role and area works best for me. I think working at a variety of places is a great way to learn. The role that I am now in is a senior position and I’m only two and a half years qualified, so I’m very lucky and I don’t think I’d have got it if I hadn’t had moved around and built up my experience and skills.
Health care degrees can be really different to other degrees, because you’re almost guaranteed a job at the end as there is such a demand for qualified health workers. But nursing has been tough at times and there has been a lot of ups and downs. But even though I’ve graduated, BCU has still been able to help with that.
On the course, they gear you up to be a safe practitioner and everything that comes along with the job. Over the three years, I took on six placements and I had the opportunity to work across many departments at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, Birmingham Children’s Hospital and The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital.
A typical work day for me includes very early starts, lots of checking in with staff and patients and making sure that everyone is OK. We also have several handover discussions throughout the day, so that everyone knows what is happening with each patient, amongst assessing patients, taking emergency calls and so much more. It’s a real juggling act at times and very much all or nothing. During quiet moments, I go onto the wards and teach staff new skills. Every single day is different, there is constant change and there are no set routines, but our patients are at the heart of everything and you do it all for them.
Some of the biggest challenges in my career so far has been learning to understand how different people manage and deal with situations, but also having to learn to be professional and how to advocate for myself and my patients.
I am so proud to be a nurse. I’ve worked hard to get to where I am now. I’m not particularly smart or academic, but I would say that my heart is in the right place and that I’m in the job for the right reasons. I want to make a change and be the best that I can be for patients and fellow staff.
I met some amazing people at BCU, from students to staff. The staff are really there for you and are so supportive, I love that I’m still in touch with them even now.
In the future, I would love to become the lead nurse consultant. I would love to be able to support the nursing team, but also still have the bedside manner with patients and the chance to use the skills that I’ve learned and continue to learn daily.
My advice to graduating nursing students is to get out there and do it, embrace it and know that you won’t know everything and that is perfectly OK. You don’t truly learn to be a nurse until you step into the clinical, nursing area for the first time with your registered uniform on and think ‘wow, this is it’. It’s so easy to get bogged down about making mistakes, but you are going to make mistakes. It is how you deal with that and how you learn from them which makes you a good nurse, a better nurse and a strong nurse.”
Pictured: Jamie Bryson with two nursing colleagues