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Calum Lyon BN (Hons) Bachelor of Nursing (Child), 2016

Staff Nurse at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust

Calum Lyon's Photo

Hi, I'm Calum Lyon and I studied Child Nursing at the University of Southampton.

The course helps you develop not only your skills as a Nurse but your resilience and compassion for the practice. It’s hard to explain how much you learn and grow as a person, but it all stems from the experience you gain from practical placements.

What made you select the University of Southampton for your undergraduate study?

When I applied, Nursing at Southampton was ranked in the top 3 universities. Studying at a prestigious university really excited me, and it helped that it was so close to home.

What is Southampton like as a place to study?

I couldn’t have asked for a better University experience, the city alone has so much to offer. The university really encourage you to get involved in university life, and that really helps in forming friendships!

What did you enjoy about the course?

The practical placements, whilst challenging, were definitely the part I enjoyed the most. You get so much hand on experience, and that’s really the best way to learn in this profession.

Were there any modules that you particularly enjoyed?

My favourite module was ‘contexts of care’; for my assignment I looked into the well-being of young carers, and I just found it so interesting!

How useful did you find your clinical placements?

Definitely the most important part of the course, it really helped to hone clinical skills and develop knowledge so much further, to provide high quality care to patients.

Did you participate in any extra-curricular activities (such as clubs, societies) that provided skills that you have used since finishing your course?

In first year I was the Welfare Officer for my Halls of Residence, in my second I was the Welfare Rep for NAMSOC (Nursing and Midwifery Society), before becoming Vice-President of NAMSOC, in my final year. I also worked part-time in the Students Union as a team leader in the Bridge and the Stags’.

What is your current profession?

I’m currently a Staff Nurse at University Hospital Southampton on Piam Brown Ward for Children’s Oncology.

How do you feel that your course prepared you for employment?

The course helps you develop not only your skills as a Nurse but your resilience and compassion for the practice. It’s hard to explain how much you learn and grow as a person, but it all stems from the experience you gain from practical placements.

Do you have any plans for your future career progression?

I think I like the idea of moving to London and working in Great Ormond Street Hospital! Then when I’ve worked long enough, maybe become a School Nurse or an Oncology Community Nurse.

What tips would you give to current students looking to start a career in your sector? What could they be doing now to make themselves more employable when they graduate?

I would say get as much experience in healthcare as possible, such as doing bank work as a Health Care Assistant (HCA) at your local hospital, or at least in your relevant sector; prior to University, I worked as Teaching Assistant, so that I had experience of working with children.

What advice would you give to a student starting their undergraduate study at Southampton?

Get as involved as possible with uni activities, it’s the best way to make friends. Bring flu medicine and look after yourself (because freshers’ flu is painful). Study hard from your first year, even when people say first year doesn’t count; that doesn’t mean you should slack!

What are you most proud of?

I’m most proud of the fact that my friends and I made it to the end of the degree in one piece and all got the jobs that we wanted.

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