Being at Edge Hill has opened my eyes and given me the confidence to believe I am capable. It can be hard but it’s worth persevering – you never know where it will take you.

Working in a children’s hospital is the best job in the world. It’s the little things like seeing a child smile for the first time when they’ve been poorly that makes it so worthwhile; it’s an amazing feeling. As a Paediatric Nursing Assistant at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, I worked with a truly inspirational team caring for the most vulnerable children and their families. I loved being part of a big team of people all working together to help a patient. As much as I loved my job, I felt restricted. I decided I wanted to expand my role and then began researching the possible ways of doing this.

I’ll admit, I’d never heard of Operating Department Practice (ODP) before I started working in theatres and I’d never thought of it as a specific career path. Many of the ODPs I worked with at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital had trained at Edge Hill. Their knowledge, professionalism and dedication is a reflection of their training and I knew they were the type of ODP I aspired to be, so Edge Hill was always my first choice.

The course has exceeded my expectations and opened up so many more opportunities than I ever imagined. Last year, I was proud to represent ODPs on a trip to China to see how they train and deliver healthcare. We were able to compare not only the UK and Chinese healthcare systems, but also the modern and traditional herbal hospitals in China, which was fascinating.

I wouldn’t have had this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity without financial help from Edge Hill’s Student Opportunity Fund. When I came back from China, I was selected to speak at a conference about my experiences. Doing that gave me so much confidence and it was fantastic to be able to network with senior ODPs and share all the things I’d learned.

University is all about discovery. Being at Edge Hill has opened my eyes and given me the confidence to believe I am capable. It can be hard but it’s worth persevering – you never know where it will take you.