1st May 2018

Reflections – Louisa Davies

MSc 2nd Year Child Nursing Student – Edge Hill University

On 7th March I boarded the train at Liverpool Lime Street and headed off to Reading, unsure, but excited, about what the next two days would bring. As soon as I arrived at the event I realised I needn’t have worried at all. Everyone was so friendly and I immediately got chatting to people and we started sharing our stories. It was so interesting to connect with students from a range of healthcare backgrounds, such as physios, midwives, and radiographers. One OT student commented to me that when he asked the nursing students what they were studying, they often just replied with their field, such as child. It showed me that when you study nursing you can get stuck in a bit of a nursing bubble, which can be confusing for other healthcare students!

Over the course of the two days we had many talks from senior leaders in healthcare. I found it really interesting to listen to their career journeys, especially how they have learnt just as much from their failures as from their successes. I found this really inspiring and motivating, and it re-emphasised to me that a career in healthcare requires determination and hard work throughout.

We watched a TED talk video titled ‘Transparency, Compassion and Truth in Medical Errors’. The speaker’s son had died after a series of medical mistakes. It really brought home to me the responsibility we have as healthcare professionals to always be open and honest with our patients and their families, and to admit and learn from our mistakes, which we will inevitably make at some point in our career.

The theme of resilience also ran strongly throughout the event. The student reflections from Abigail Spragg and Ruth Rodgers stressed how important it is to look after yourself whilst studying, and how making time to do the things you enjoy outside of the course is beneficial for both your personal and professional life. Similarly, Beryl Mansel’s talk on confidence highlighted the importance of making time for self-caring activities. Ultimately, if we want to care for others successfully we must first care for ourselves.

As the two days drew to a close I was amazed at how much information and ambition I had acquired in such a short space of time. The Student Leadership Programme has given me the drive to aim for great things in my career and to have the confidence and resilience to know that I can and will bounce back from difficulties. However, the best thing about the programme was connecting with like-minded and passionate students. It confirmed to me that despite the current pressures of the NHS, we all aspire to provide the best care for our patients, no matter what, and that filled me with hope. I am very proud to be one the #150leaders.