Health Sciences: Why I Chose My Course

Thinking about applying for one of our Health Sciences courses? Why not hear first-hand from one of our students about what it was that interested them about the course. We speak to Kerrie, one of our Operating Department Practice students, who tells us why she chose ODP.

How did you hear about Operating Department Practice?

I always knew I wanted a career in the NHS, I just thought I would take on a healthcare assistant role first and then train to become a qualified nurse. I had three children and thought my time in education had finished. I worked as a Theatre Assistant for four years and had never heard of the Operating Department Practitioner (ODP) role until I started the job. I fell in love with theatres straight away, and the role gave me an excellent insight into what an ODP does.  Through support from my family and work colleagues I decided to apply to Birmingham City University to train as an ODP through a BSc in Operating Department Practice

What made you want to apply?

Inspiration to choose this career path initially came from the patients I had looked after. I had a good team of colleagues around me who helped me develop in my role and then encouraged and supported me to apply for this course. I was also inspired by the BCU students that were on placement and working at my hospital trust, who spoke highly of the course, and of course by my family.  By having the courage to take this leap, I wanted my children to see that you can achieve anything that you want if you put the hard work in.

What are the staff like?

I was made to feel welcome from the moment I had my interview at BCU. All the staff were friendly, helpful and encouraging, and this has continued as the course progresses.  The Coronavirus pandemic meant we weren’t able to do our placement, but staff put plenty of things in place such as virtual lectures and sharing information on Moodle (our virtual learning site) to help us complete our academic work and enhance our knowledge.  I have also been able to speak to tutors about home life and had opportunities to discuss any matters with tutors whenever I’ve needed to, which is great. The tutors made me feel at ease from the start to be honest. They are very friendly, firm when needed to be but fair, approachable and willing to help. Always available if we need a chat or support with any aspect of our course.

How do you think your course has changed you?

Over the past year, I have become more confident in my academic abilities and in myself as a person.  I always used to think I couldn’t do certain academic work, but the lectures have been brilliant, and the Moodle site has helped greatly. I have become more confident on placement due to the theory I have been taught which again has helped my confidence.

Do you have any advice for future students?

I am really proud of the fact I have been able to keep up with my studies and placements as well as having a well-balanced home life.  To do this, you have to be organised, and dedicate certain days to using the library services to finish work. I have to do this in particular, so that I can complete my work on campus while my children are at school. This structure has set me in good stead for the rest of the course to make sure I have the right balance, as both sides are important. That’s my advice, be disciplined with yourself and you can have the best of both worlds.

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