Don’t just take our word for it that a career in healthcare is rewarding and satisfying. Hear from some of our graduates as they share their experiences of studying at UEA, life beyond graduation, their aspirations and what advice they’d give as you embark upon this exciting next step in your education.
Laura Millican - BSc Midwifery
I graduated from the UEA in August 2021. My first job was working as a pre-reg midwife, and I am now a fully registered midwife working in a local trust.
My favourite part of my job is supporting and caring for women and their families, being able to give personalised and patient centred care. It's amazing to be part of such a huge moment in someone else's life, and it’s a privilege to be able to support and facilitate women throughout their antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal journeys to ensure they have the best experience of pregnancy and childbirth as possible.
The most challenging part of my job is the paperwork! I wish we could give more time to the women we are working with than the amount of paperwork and admin we need to complete.
I would like to be remembered for being positive and bubbly, and always willing to help others.
I admire all the midwives I have worked alongside throughout my training, but especially during the pandemic when staffing was stretched, and people were pushed to their limits. Even in those moments, the midwives I / we worked alongside side wanted to teach us and help us become better practitioners.
My greatest achievement is qualifying with a first-class degree, with my three children and hubby in tow (all learning midwifery with me and on the journey with me). I’ve never put myself in the academia bracket, but this degree has taught me that if you have passion for something you can do anything.
In 10 years, I’d still like to be working in midwifery, but where exactly I am still not sure. I see myself co-ordinating or managing a team one day. But for now, I need to just be me and build on my skills, independence and further my knowledge.
Jen Kippin – BSc Adult Nursing Degree Apprenticeship
I graduated from the BSc Adult Nursing Degree Apprenticeship, UEA in February 2021 and my first and current job after graduation was as a Community Nurse for NCHC. I love how one day is never the same, you are given your list of patients to see for the day and then the rest is up to you. There is a lot of autonomy in being a Community Nurse and I like being able to use my knowledge and skills I have learnt over the years (and am still developing) to give the very best care possible.
I would most like to be remembered for my midcentury clothing style! Joking aside, I’d like to be remembered for being a fab nurse.
I most admire my mum. She taught me to be the strong independent person that I am today, very much a cliche but true!
I consider my qualifying to be my greatest achievement! Studying in the middle of a pandemic whilst also working was tough so I’m really proud of getting my professional registration and completing the course.
I haven’t quite decided where I’d like to be in the future yet, whether to go down the clinical or leadership routes. I think I’ll wait and see!
Simone Emerson - Trainee Nursing Associate
I completed my studies in October 2020 and when my apprenticeship contract ends I shall be working in a GP practice as a Registered Nursing Associate.
My favourite part of my current job is the lovely supportive colleagues as they have all helped make me the nurse I am today! And of course seeing the patients, patient education and empowerment, chatting to them and making them smile. If I leave a patient knowing I have helped and made their day a little brighter it is the best feeling. The most challenging part of my current job is travelling lots of miles driving across the patch to patients’ homes as it can be very stressful and tiring in addition to a very busy workload.
I would like to be remembered for being caring, doing a good job and making people smile.
I most admire my amazing Supervisor Georgina Harper! A truly compassionate, hard working, inspiring and enthusiastic teacher. I have learnt so much working alongside her for the last 2 years, and am very grateful for all the guidance and support she has given me.
I consider my greatest achievement to be passing the course! No really. And of course getting pretty awesome overall grades, proud of that!
In 10years’ time I would like to have a further advanced degree in Nursing and be working abroad.
Tegan Archer - BSc Speech and Language Therapy
I graduated in July 2020 and am soon starting my first post as a newly qualified Speech and Language Therapist for the NHS in Cambridgeshire as part of the Stroke Early Supported Discharge team. I will be working with adults who have acquired swallowing and communication difficulties following a stroke. I am really excited to start my new job and am looking forward to getting to work closely with lots of different professionals who are also part of the ESD team as well as being able to build on the skills I gained on my third year placement working with adults.
My placement educators were both fantastic SLTs and taught me lots which I will take with me to my new job.
Writing my dissertation and completing my degree during the coronavirus pandemic is my greatest achievement.
In ten years’ time I will hopefully still be really enjoying working as an SLT specialising in stroke.
Alice Ollerhead - BSc Paramedic Science
I currently work at the South Central Ambulance Service as a Newly Qualified Paramedic.
It is a priviledge to meet such a range of people and be welcomed into their homes and lives, I love that it keeps me on my toes!
It can be challenging, knowing there is more to be done, as things stand, there is a mismatch between care and support needed, and that available. Therefore, identifying need that cannot be met is morally challenging.
I always try my best – whether academically or with my patients, I will always try my best and hope this is reflected in my practice.
Becoming a paramedic is my greatest achievement – I faced some real challenges along the way but I kept going and it only made me stronger.
In ten years time I hope I will still be a paramedic, potentially with additional training in primary care, admission avoidance or end of life care as these are particular interests of mine.
Kieran Francis - BSc Paramedic Science
I am currently working at East Midlands Ambulance Service, Leicester as a Paramedic .
As ambulance clinicians we have the privilege to help people in their homes, in their environment and at their most desperate time. Making even the slightest difference, whether that be making a cup of tea and having a chat or helping refer a patient on to social care can be hugely rewarding.
The way the ambulance service is utilised is changing and there is a far greater call volume for less acute, chronic exacerbations of underlying health issues – Keeping up to date with pathophysiology and best practice for these complex patients can present a challenge and the need for utilising secondary services more.
I admire far too many people to mention including my parents, but at UEA I most admire Juliet Harrison a paramedic lecturer as she is always extremely hard-working and supportive and an amazing paramedic
I consider my degree to be my greatest achievement – I would never have considered that I would be able to complete university when I was younger and I’m really proud of myself.
I would like to look into the pathway of a critical care paramedic or that of an advanced practitioner in an emergency department.
Just remember though, ambulances are deceptively higher than they look, I’ve fallen out of one and into one more times than I care to mention!
Melodie Avakian - MSc Adult Nursing
I am extremely proud of achieving a Distinction in my final year literature review, in which I explored the psychosocial consequences for informal caregivers supporting end of life cancer patients in the community. Since graduating from UEA, I have started my career as an adult nurse with an Oncology rotational position at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. I had always wanted to specialise in cancer nursing so this has been an excellent opportunity to begin my career within this field of nursing, as I am now commencing my Systemic Anti-Cancer Treatment (SACT) training.
Once I have completed my SACT training over the next year, I would like to combine my cancer nursing skills and experience with a research position in clinical trials in the future.
The transition from student nurse to becoming a newly qualified nurse has been both personally and professionally challenging at times. However, the NHS preceptorship programme has helped to facilitate this by providing the necessary support along the way. Now, looking back on how much I have learnt and grown professionally within the past year has been highly rewarding.
My advice to current students would be to Keep focused from the start on where you wish to see yourself. Make the most of support networks available at UEA such as your personal adviser and your peers and also make sure to always keep a healthy work-life balance!
Stephen Brighton - DipHE Paramedic
I completed my higher diploma as part of my vocational three year programme with EEAST and since graduating I have continued working with the ambulance service and qualified as a paramedic.
I've had a lifelong interest in human anatomy and physiology and a career as a paramedic has always been in my mind. In the ambulance service my daily skills are varied, both knowledge based (patient questioning and interpretation of findings) and physical (use of range of equipment and materials).
The diploma itself was a necessary part of my course in order to qualify. However, my development as an autonomous clinician has primarily been influenced by my experiences and CPD, in and out of work.
Thank you notes from patients are always cause to be proud of my practice and it's always nice to hear that patients and their families are doing well after an ambulance call where we've made a significant intervention.
My advice to current students is to be critical and flexible, clinical guidelines are just that: guidelines. Sometimes unique problems require unique solutions.
My aim is to continue my career in emergency medicine and study to qualify as an advanced practitioner, either through further higher education or further vocational training.
Lily Neame - BSc Children’s Nursing
When starting Children's Nursing at UEA, I always knew I wanted to go into working in a hospital. I originally thought I’d stay in Norwich because I loved it so much, and applied to work at the local hospital. After three years, I thought it would be good to have a change of scenery so I moved to London... but I still can't help but visit beautiful Norwich.
After finishing university, I spent my summer exploring the Philippines for 7 weeks. This should be on your travel bucket list!! I have since moved in to a flat in London with my best friends, and am now working at Great Ormond Street hospital, as a band 5 Staff Nurse.
As a nurse, my main priority is to be an advocate for my patients and listen to any concerns the patient or family has. I carry out assessments on children, draw up and administer medications, and review their progress. The best bit about being a children's nurse in particular, is making sure the child's stay in hospital is FUN!
My degree gave me the practical skills I needed to be a nurse through placement experiences for three years. It made me more confident when meeting new people and gave me a vast mass of knowledge from human anatomy to theories relating to health behaviours.
A professional achievement I am proud of is getting a job at one of the leading children's hospitals in the world!
My advice to current students is to get stuck in on placements, and don't be afraid to ask questions and say you don't know how to do something. Organise spoke placements with other organisations relating to your study if possible!
I plan on Living in London for the next few years and then hopefully travel and work in humanitarian aid at some point! Who knows...
Amii-Rose Steward - DipHE Operating Department Practice
I graduated in September 2020 and my first job after graduation was as an Operating Department Practitioner in a scrub role at Royal Marsden Hospital. The best part of my job is feeling like you’re making a difference to a patients life and Royal Marsden is an Oncology hospital. The people and the support that I have from fellow colleagues is also amazing.
Learning all of the instruments for different specialities that are covered within the hospital from breast surgery to head and neck surgeries is probably the most challenging aspect of my current role.
I would like to be remembered for being a hard working ODP that went above and beyond for her patients.
I admire my parents most, for starting their business from nothing over 25 years ago to how successful they have become and being Royal Warrant Holders now.
I consider passing my ODP course my greatest achievement yet!
In ten years’ time hopefully I’ll be a Surgical Care Practitioner.
One surprising fact about myself is that I used to be a makeup artist and worked in film and on musicals.
Jaynie Sheen - BSc Paramedic Science
I graduated from UEA in September 2020 and my first job was as a Paramedic for EEAST.
My favourite part of the job is helping people and being part of a great team of colleagues whilst the most challenging part is that I never know what I will be faced with each day which is exactly why I love my job and the challenges it brings.
I would like to be remembered for being a good paramedic and a crazy cat lady.
I admire anyone who sets their sights high and has the determination and passion to complete their goals in life.
I consider completing my paramedic course with the grades I received to be my greatest achievement and in ten years’ time I would like to be known as a good paramedic and happy, with lots of cats and dogs.
I actually never wanted to be a paramedic or join the ambulance service. I wanted to be a dog handler in the police, therefore joining the ambulance service as a first responder was only to enhance my police application, but I fell in love with the job and soon spent all my spare time volunteering. I eventually gave up my full time job to become an ECA and it was the best career decision I have ever made.
Grace Denham - DipHE Paramedic Science
I dropped out of college and didn’t complete my A levels, however I have now graduated from the DipHE Paramedic Science (2020) and my job after graduating was as a paramedic.
I am currently working for the East of England Ambulance Service as a paramedic.
My favourite part of the job is trying to work out what might be causing the problem for a patient, because I get to put the pieces together like a puzzle and compare what I find with what I have learnt during my studies.
The most challenging aspect of my job is interacting with new people every shift, this can be trying. I have limited time to try and build a rapport, normally by the time that’s been achieved it’s then time to say goodbye and move onto the next patient.
I would like to be remembered for always trying to learn something new.
I most admire my mother and I consider my own greatest achievement to be keeping my toddler alive. In ten years’ time I would like to be working towards higher academic awards and focusing on clinical research.
Chelsea Radakovic - MSc Occupational Therapy
I graduated in February 2021 and I will be working at The Royal Papworth Hospital, which is a specialist cardiopulmonary hospital. I will be working rotations through different areas of the hospital, supporting people to recover after surgery or managing longer term conditions.
My first job will begin in two weeks so I am soaking up the free time at the moment!
My favourite part of Occupational Therapy so far is finding those little techniques, tips and tricks that make such a big difference to people doing everyday activities. When one finds themselves in a position where they can’t do something they’ve done all their life, like get out of bed or shower, it can be such a relief to find that they can still do it but it a new or different way.
There is so much that Occupational Therapists can do to help and support people and the most difficult thing is never having enough time to spend with each person.
I would like to be remembered for bringing an abundance of positivity to people when they’re at a difficult point, to help people see the possibilities in their life, and to help people do what is important to them, despite the limitations they may have.
I admire people that stick up for what they believe, stay positive in the face of doubt, risk, and hardship, and wander outside the lines from time to time.
Finishing a Master’s degree with distinction in a foreign country during a pandemic has been one of the greatest challenges in my life so far and therefore one of my greatest achievements!
If someone ten years ago had told me I’d be living in a cottage in England, working as an Occupational Therapist in a Royal hospital, I would not have believed them because none of those things were even possibilities in my mind! I am so excited to see where life takes me in the next ten years’ but I wouldn’t even hazard a guess where that will be!
One surprising fact about myself is that I used to fly helicopters at an Aeronautical University in Arizona.
Krisztina Wilsea -Trainee Nursing Associate
I graduated from UEA in 2021. During my two year apprenticeship, I worked as community based TNA based in Great Yarmouth & the Northern Villages for East Coast Community Healthcare. I am now a Registered Nursing Associate at Beccles Community Hospital with East Coast Community Healthcare.
My favourite part of the current job is the interaction with the patients and being able to make a small difference to someone’s life.
Being a newly registered Nursing Associate in an unfamiliar environment is probably my biggest challenge since I have always been community based rather than ward based and felt very competent in my previous role as I had plenty of experience; however, I love a challenge!
I would like to be remembered for being considerate, amicable and passionate and smiling a lot!
I most admire my father, who came to England from Hungary as a refugee. He did not speak English but through hard work and determination he overcame adversity and ran a successful engineering company employing many people whom he encouraged and supported. He was a great advocate for chasing your dreams and believe to succeed.
My greatest achievement is yet to come! I believe achievements are relative to life stages and time frames. I have been fortunate enough to experience many personal triumphs and achievements.
Although I am ambitious, I have never had a “plan” so to be a registered nurse, with all the components that constitute health and happiness would be wonderful.
One surprising fact about me is that I used to be an HGV driver and Tyre Technician in Formula One.
Roxanne Brunton - DipHE Operating Department Practice
I graduated from UEA in September 2021 and now work at the Queen Elizabeth hospital as an operating department practitioner.
My favourite part of my current job is being able to influence a patient’s healthcare experience, providing them with the care and support I would like for myself or my loved ones.
The most challenging part of my job is being faced with difficult or unpleasant patient outcomes.
I would like to be remembered for being a hardworking student who has given 100% every step of the way and embraced the progression from student to registered medical professional.
The person I most admire is my sister Cally, who, like myself, is dyslexic and has never let it hinder her progression or stop her achieving her goals. She is a nurse in the military and the first in the country to transition to a teaching position at Sandhurst.
Completing this course is definitely my greatest achievement. As a mature student, who gave up full time work to pursue a change in career, failure was not an option. Studying and completing placement at the Queen Elizabeth hospital has been challenging at times, but it really has been worth it and I don’t regret it for a second.
In ten years’ time I would like to have completed my top up, taking me from diploma to degree level. I would also like to have progressed from a band 5 to a senior post as a band 6 operating department practitioner.
One surprising fact about myself is that I’m a closet nerd! I love all things geeky and sci-fi. I collect Funko pops from franchises such as Star Wars and Masters of the Universe.
You will also have the opportunity to win school awards with prize money as our Boards of Examiners award prizes at the end of each academic year in recognition of academic achievement and marks:
Awarded to students on the MSc Occupational Therapy and MSc Physiotherapy courses for the highest mark for the final year dissertation.
Best Overall Academic Performance (Pre-Registration)
An annual prize of £100 awarded for the best overall academic performance in the following listed courses:
- Dip HE in Operating Department Practice
- Dip HE Paramedic Science HSC School Prize
- BSc Hons Midwifery
- BSc Hons Nursing Adult
- BSc Hons Nursing Child
- BSc Hons Nursing Learning Disabilities
- BSc Hons Nursing Mental Health
- BSc Hons Occupational Therapy
- BSc Hons Paramedic Science
- BSc Hons Physiotherapy
- BSc Hons Speech and Language Therapy
- Degree Apprenticeship in Adult Nursing
- Degree Apprenticeship in Occupational Therapy
- Foundation Degree in Health Studies (Nursing Associate Apprenticeship).
Best Overall Academic Performance (Masters Pre-registration)
An annual prize of £100 shall be awarded for the best overall academic performance of the following courses:
- MSc Adult Nursing (pre-registration)
- MSc Mental Health Nursing (pre-registration).
Best Overall Academic Performance (Post-Registration)
An annual prize of £100 awarded for the Best Overall Academic Performance according to the final mark in all modules, in the following Post-Registration courses:
- BSc Hons Nursing Practice
- BSc Hons Acute Critical and Emergency Care
- BSc Hons Enhanced Professional Practice
If in any year no candidate is judged to be of sufficient merit for a particular prize, the prize shall not be awarded. If two candidates for a prize are judged to be of equal merit, that prize may be divided.
Best Overall Academic Performance (Postgraduate Taught)
An annual prize of £100 awarded for the Best Overall Academic Performance in the following listed courses:
- MSc Advanced Practitioner
- MSc in Advanced Professional Practice.
The Natalie Briston Prize – Pre-registration BSc (Hons) in Occupational Therapy
This Dissertation Prize is awarded to a student on the BSc Occupational Therapy course for the highest mark for the final year dissertation.
- There shall be one Prize awarded annually by the School of Health Sciences
- The Dissertation Prize shall be awarded to the student on the BSc Occupational Therapy course who receives the highest mark for their final year dissertation.
- The value of the Prize shall be £50 and will be given either as cash or as vouchers.
- The Prize shall be awarded by the BSc (Pre-reg) Exam Board on the recommendation of the BSc Occupational Therapy course director, in consultationwith the research module co-ordinator.
- If more than two candidates are judged to be of equal merit, the Prize may be divided.