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Daniel Sollom BN (Hons) Bachelor of Nursing (Adult), 2016

Nurse at Poole Hospitals Trust

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Hi, I'm Dan Sollom and I studied Adult Nursing at the University of Southampton.

I would have been completely unprepared for work without my invaluable clinical placements. I saw several different ways of doing things at different Trusts, Hospitals and Departments, which have all help to prepare me for life at the front line of Public Service.

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

I am a mature student, living in Dorset, and I applied through Clearing having suffered a career ending injury the previous year and was starting rehab. I knew I wanted to study Nursing and Southampton was reasonably local and had a considerably better reputation than other universities within my catchment area.

What is Southampton like as a place to study?

I didn't spend much time in the city, outside of university, but enjoyed the great shopping, train links, and being close to the water for occasional sailing.

What did you enjoy about the course?

I thought it was very well organised and the module outlines/aims/outcomes were always well explained. It was particularly helpful having the lectures pre-available on Blackboard, so that they could be read and studied in advance of the face-to-face lectures

Were there any modules that you particularly enjoyed?

'Leadership, Management and Research for Best Practice' (dissertation) module about improving standards; Acute Care Needs, and even things that I didn't necessarily think I would like 'End of Life and Palliative Care'. 

How useful did you find your clinical placements?

They are the only real way to gain experience of the working environment! I would have been completely unprepared for work without these invaluable placements. I saw several different ways of doing things at different Trusts, Hospitals and Departments, which have all help to prepare me for life at the front line of Public Service.

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

As I lived an hour away, I usually went home and took part in my own activities with friends and family.

What is your current profession?

I’m a registered Nurse working in Emergency Care for Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

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

It taught me an enormous amount compared to how much I knew before starting the course, but starting work was still daunting and realistically there will always be more to learn. The first few months were almost over-whelming, but there was support from my VBE (Tutorial) group.

Do you have any plans for your future career progression?

Yes. There is plenty of scope for career development within the NHS, and to progress through the grades. In time there will hopefully be opportunities to partake in Masters level postgraduate study, and I would certainly consider the University of Southampton for this.

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?

Gain some additional experience to help identify exactly which part of Nursing is the right one for you. Every hospital is recruiting Health Care Assistants all the time, approaching them directly is almost showing sufficient initiative for them to offer you a job. Then move about within the hospital from ward to ward to see how things vary and where you feel most comfortable.

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

Get stuck in; there is loads going on and a club for everybody, whatever your interests. Find your space, experiment, and become the person you want to be.

What are you most proud of?

Gaining my second degree; graduating again at the age of 43 despite all the difficulties of full-time study whilst having a young family and having 3yrs of not earning; changing career when life throws you a curve ball, and you lose the life you had; walking straight into employment in the department of my choice and battling through to make it work. There is plenty left to come!

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