Bernadette Gutsa

Learning Disability Nursing BSc (Hons)

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  • Course: Learning Disability Nursing BSc (Hons)
  • Year of Study: Second year
  • Length of course: Three years

Your University Journey

Why did you decide to study at the University of Northampton?

It offered me the qualities in teaching I needed and the field of nursing that I wanted to study.

What are your career goals/aspirations?

To be a qualified learning disability nurse, able to advocate for people with learning disabilities (LD) in communities.

How do you think your studies will help your career or personal development when you graduate?

They will equip me with the knowledge and skills that I will use in my career, including how to communicate with LD people who are none verbal and understand the ways they communicate, for example, when they are in pain or there is a need to raise safeguarding issues. Plus, the skills to advocate for their rights when necessary.

Does your course have a placement?

Yes, I’m due for my last placement for year two. I’ve already been to different areas that involve my field of nursing, as a student nurse. My roles covered mostly the nurse’s duties under the supervision of a qualified nurse, for example, administering medication and general person-centred care for service users.

What were the benefits of doing a placement?

To get to use the knowledge and skills acquired at university in practice. Getting the real feeling of working with other disciplinary teams to deliver effective care from experienced people.

What employability skills did you develop during your placement?

How to be a good advocate for LD people.

How do you think the placement will help you with gaining employment after graduating?

I got to work with staff and managers who gave me good feedback on my skills and have built a good CV that will help me gain employment after graduating.

Do you have any tips on applying for placements? What can students do to help them get one?

You can always contact the health placements team and request one. They are very helpful in terms of supporting students during their placements.

What advice would you give to students about to begin a placement?

Be yourself and focus on the passion that made you study this course. Don’t be afraid to ask questions when you don’t understand anything, because this is your chance to learn before you qualify.

In one sentence, what advice would you give to undergraduates interested in this career path or anything you wish you had known earlier?

Go for it, it is very rewarding.

How would you summarise your UON experience?

I’m enjoying every minute of it, though it can be hard at times!