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Donna Purcell BSc (Hons) Public Health Practice: Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (SCPHN), 2016

Health Visitor at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust

Donna Purcell's Photo

Hi, I'm Donna Purcell and I studied Public Health Practice: Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (SCPHN) at the University of Southampton.

The course allowed me to meet fellow NHS professional staff from a variety of specialities and gave me the opportunity to share my knowledge and skills in a new area of practice.

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

The course structure allowed for consistent time in placement and university allowing a better learning experience. The reputation of the University by employers was also a factor in my decision.

What is Southampton like as a place to study?

It is challenging but supportive and friendly with a large diverse number of courses offered.

What did you enjoy about the course?

Meeting fellow NHS professional staff from a variety of specialities and being given the opportunity to share your knowledge and skills but also being challenged in a new area of practice.

Were there any modules that you particularly enjoyed?

I enjoyed the ‘Evidence Based Practice, Research and Epidemiology for Health Visiting’ module. Although having undertaken the subject before this was an excellent module and I learnt a lot from it.

How useful did you find your clinical placements?

They were an integral part of the course and allowed theory to be matched to practice.

What is your current profession?

I’m currently working as a Health Visitor for Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust.

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

It prepared us well for working in this field.

Do you have any plans for your future career progression?

I would like to become a specialist Health Visitor in either breastfeeding or maternal mental health.

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?

Do lots of preparation and research into the role and ensure you take the Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (SCPHN) course at a well-respected institution, like the University of Southampton.

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

Don’t be afraid to ask for help, it’s not a sign of failure but rather an indicator of strength.

What are you most proud of?

Achieving a 2:1 after a very challenging year both academically and personally that wouldn’t have been possible without the help of the course leader.

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