Catherine Thompson’s nursing degree provided an opportunity to complete an unforgettable work experience placement at a hospital in Kenya.
The BSc (Hons) Nursing Studies (Learning Disabilities) graduate said: ‘I was privileged in that my course offered scope to undertake an international placement. I gladly accepted this opportunity and went to Kenya where I worked in a government hospital. It was an amazing experience.’
During her trip to Kenya, Catherine spent time working with organisations helping street children and orphans.She said of her eye-opening visit: ‘It helped me to realise how great our education system is, especially the nursing programme at Teesside University.
‘I was honoured to take a donation of £5,000 with me which was raised before my trip. The funds went towards providing essentials for children in over 15 orphanages. I witnessed much poverty and tragedy during the trip, which inspired me to fundraise when I arrived home.’
Catherine was also shortlisted in the Nursing Times Awards in the Student Nurse of the Year: (Learning Disabilities) category during the final year of her degree.
She said: ‘I was honoured to be nominated. It was an amazing experience and I was humbled, surprised and very happy to have made it to the finals.’
The university provided me with so many opportunities
Mum-of-three Catherine, 37, from Stockton, decided to study nursing as it is a career path she had always wanted to follow.
‘I have always wanted to be a nurse. I’m passionate about advocating for people with learning disabilities and meeting their physical and emotional needs. Teesside is also my local university.
‘I loved everything about the course. The split between theory and practice worked well and lectures and seminars were engaging, enjoyable, inclusive and beneficial.’ Catherine added: ‘Since completing my studies, I have started a job in respite care for adults with learning disabilities, where I did my management placement during the degree.
‘I can’t think of a place I would rather work and Teesside University helped me to achieve this goal. The academic support throughout my placement provided me with the skills and confidence I needed to prove I would be competent in this role.
‘I really enjoyed my time at Teesside and would highly recommend it to anybody. The university provided me with so many opportunities.’