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The Study & Practice of Nursing: Q&A with Sarah Woolley of Staffordshire University

Ms Sarah Woolley from Staffordshire University’s School of Nursing and Midwifery spoke to BrainGain magazine about the subject, the university and the career.
BY Skendha Singh |   29-11-2016
Sarah Woolley with Apollo Nursing College Students in Chennai

BrainGain magazine spoke to Ms. Sarah Woolley, Academic Group Leader at the School of Nursing & Midwifery, at Staffordshire University (UK) about nursing as a career, course options, and state-of-the-art facilities at Staffordshire University.

Edited excerpts from the conversation are below.

  1. Please tell us more about the British Council Nursing Mission, as part of which you visited nursing institutions in India. Also, could you tell us how the Mission is useful for students?

    The British Council organized a visit for UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to meet with schools, colleges, and universities in south India, which offer nursing education/training. The institutions visited included SRM and SRI Ramachandra Universities, Apollo Nursing College, and Omayai Achi College - all in Chennai. Within Kochi, we also visited Samaritan College, Medical Trust College, and Amrita and Carmel Colleges.

    The Mission was to explore the potential for collaborations/partnerships, as well as education and research opportunities for nursing students and staff living in India. It also focused on the potential for student exchange visits, offering students the opportunity for short term academic study in the UK. This was an opportunity for students to understand nursing education in the UK, and explore potential opportunities available for those who wish to continue their education and subsequently work in the UK.
  2. You have interacted with Indian students and faculty as part of your visit. What is your impression of them? What advantage can Staffordshire offer them?

    It was a pleasure to meet faculty, staff, and students in all the establishments, all of whom were extremely welcoming and committed to nursing education, practice, and research.

    I was impressed by the level of knowledge that students had, even in their first year of study, and by their determination to succeed. If I was to make one suggestion, it would be that students need to be more confident in their knowledge and ability. This will help them to become confident practitioners in the future.

    I believe that Staffordshire University can help students to develop confidence not only in the classroom but also in the clinical setting, which offers students the opportunity to utilize high tech simulation equipment within our simulation suites, practice communication skills, moving and handing techniques, and many clinical tasks, in a protected environment. These skills are essential for any nurse wanting to apply for UK nursing status.
  3. Which are the most popular courses at Staffordshire University’s School of Nursing & Midwifery? And what, according to you, makes them attractive to students?

    At Staffordshire University, we offer a wide variety of courses at UG and PG level within our broader Faculty of Health Sciences, which includes Social Work, Social Welfare, Psychology, Sports and Exercise, Paramedic Science, Operating Department Practice, Public Health and Health Informatics. This allows students to be able to study and work inter-professionally, and share learning and practical experience with students studying different disciplines.

    Within the School of Nursing and Midwifery specifically, we offer individual courses within fields of Nursing, including Adult, Child, Mental Health and then Midwifery as a separate subject area. These courses are all offered at UG level. Our programmes in undergraduate Nursing and Midwifery are three years in duration and include a minimum of 2,300 hours of theory based teaching, and 2,300 hours of supported practice experience. Our clinical placements are accessed within acute hospitals, community care facilities, General Practices, private organisations, hospices and industry, and offer students an excellent opportunity to gain experience in healthcare in a variety of diverse settings.

    Within the School of Nursing and Midwifery we also offer post graduate courses - including MSc in Advanced Clinical Practice, and MSc in negotiated learning, which allows the student to tailor their study to meet the requirements of their clinical and academic needs. We also offer a suite of continued professional development modules which students can access to develop their knowledge and skill in specific aspects of health care, such as Diabetes, Tissue Viability, End of Life Care, Physical Health Assessment, Nurse Prescribing and many more.
  4. Could you tell us more about specializations in Forensic Practice that are offered by the School and their employment opportunities & outcomes?

    Forensic Science is a UG course suitable for UK or international applicants and is 3 years in duration. The course is accredited by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences and prepares students for a career in crime scene investigation, forensic laboratories, consultancy, public service or research. The course has a practical base and covers fingertip identification, DNA profiling, blood spatter analysis and much more. Career opportunities are varied ranging from crime scene investigator, forensic laboratory roles, technical management, research, media and public service.

  5. Nursing and teaching are two of the most industrious professions in the world. You have worked in both, simultaneously at times. What does it take to succeed in them?

    Nursing and teaching have many similarities, education and research is at the heart of both and the overriding purpose is to improve lives and opportunities. Both professional qualifications involve interaction with the public and a high level of job satisfaction. Whether teaching infection prevention and control to a group of students, or the importance of hand washing to reduce the transmission of bacteria to patients - communication is vital. This is a skill required by nurses and academics alike.

    I am lucky enough to have had a fantastic nursing career, and I use this background knowledge and experience to support my teaching and academic work. To succeed as a nurse or an educator requires hard work, commitment and determination, but more importantly a passion to make a difference.
  6. Would you like to share any other information about the School that you think is relevant for Indian students?

    We have a digitally led environment which has interactive white boards and screens for students to be able to access throughout the building giving them an opportunity to work on the academic study outside of the traditional classroom or computer suite.

    Also, we have a large pleasant social space for students to come together, an excellent international office, and we hold many international social events to ensure that students joining Staffordshire University from overseas have a positive and supportive transition and progress successfully.

    Staffordshire prides itself in offering excellent education in a friendly, supportive, digital environment. We welcome students wishing to develop their expertise and knowledge to join us in making a difference to patient care, whether in the UK or overseas.



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