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Ewelina Kopec

MSc Integrated Palliative and End-of-Life Care

Masters student Ewelina Kopec

Nursing to me is a noble and fulfilling career. As a nurse you not only demonstrate a high standard of quality patient care, but you also motivate others to provide excellent care.

Nursing to me is a noble and fulfilling career. To me it’s more than a profession, it’s a vocation. Through our knowledge, dedication, compassion and empathy, experience and expertise we empower others to take action in regard to what’s important to them. As a nurse you not only demonstrate a high standard of quality patient care, but also, through continuous personal development, you motivate others to provide excellent care.

I completed my initial nursing education in Poland back in 2006. After being awarded a general nursing degree I decided to take a break before undertaking a Master’s, and came to the UK. Fast forward, I decided to settle in the UK as I saw the potential and personal opportunities for my own career. I was fortunate to follow my dream, working as a nurse, meeting kind and inspiring people along the way. They motivated me to aspire and fulfil my goals.

To me the NHS is about amazing teams as well as endless opportunities, knowledge, experience, creativity and dedication, from every single member. It ensures everyone receives equal access to care.

Nursing can be challenging at times. However, the rewards of being a nurse outweigh those challenges. When you act as a caregiver, innovator and critical thinker in an unpredictable or unplanned situation and receive a heartfelt thank you from patients and those important to them, you experience a sense of accomplishment which means more than any awards in the world.

The most rewarding aspect of being a nurse is the emotional sense of fulfilment you get caring for people at a vulnerable point in their lives. Care and support, delivered with kindness and respect. One of my favourite books is The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. This poetic fairy tale about a little visitor from an asteroid contains a very important message: friendship and love are very important in life, and should be taken care of as they give meaning to human life.

Every patient is unique, every patient is an individual with valuable life experience. It’s the most valuable thing I’ve observed during my time as a nurse. As simple as it may often sound, the presence of another person can be uplifting, that silence could be the key to what is needed within the conversation. It’s okay to admit we haven’t got an answer for everything. That kindness and empathy go hand in hand when we demonstrate we care about one another.

I focused on palliative and end-of-life care after volunteering at a local hospice. As a teenager, I took part in an innovative school project, dedicating a couple of hours a week to sharing time with terminally ill patients. I discovered how much it meant to me, and how much I gained by simply being present and listening to the patients. I also discovered how much our presence meant to patients and their families, as well as the staff.

Every single lecturer, tutor, facilitator I’ve met during my time at Edge Hill University has been extremely supportive and helpful. They’re always approachable and willing to guide every student to achieve the best outcomes.

Edge Hill University is amazingly well equipped, a modern educational establishment. It has everything you need for a positive studying experience.
I’ve accessed many facilities at Edge Hill University, as well as those at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, during my studies and couldn’t fault anything. Facilities were always well arranged with on-time updates provided.

The beauty of the Edge Hill campus shines through. It’s well-organised and well-designed, where traditional and modern buildings create a perfect whole. Attractively designed grounds create a sense of peace and tranquillity when you need to recharge the batteries. My favourite spots are within the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Medicine and The Hub, as most, if not all, great friendships started there, along with many discussions, planning and other fantastic ideas created over a cup of coffee
Pictures taken after graduation ceremonies are always breathtaking.

My big adventure during my time at Edge Hill would be the ride challenge at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. I’ve done it, I overcame my fears, and I’ll remember it for a lifetime… also, I’m unlikely to do it again!

The best career advice I’ve been given is also the best life advice: appreciate every bit of advice, but trust your instincts, do what’s right by you. My advice to other students is turn any negativity into positivity, and learn through reflection.