Student Becky Shuck went from working as a beauty therapist five years ago to volunteering to work on the NHS frontline during the Covid-19 pandemic last summer.
“It feels surreal to be graduating as a nursing student. I still have to pinch myself that I finished my degree and I'm working as a registered nurse. The three years have gone so quickly and the support during my degree has been exceptional. It has broadened my skills, including those other than just nursing, such as being a course representative, representing fellow students’ interests. Going from a beauty therapist to a nurse is something I would never have done if I didn't have the support from the University. I will always be thankful and grateful for all the opportunities the University has given me.”
Nursing student Becky, of Longbridge, Birmingham, was one of around 450 University of Worcester students who put themselves forward to work on the frontline last spring, including those studying to be nurses, midwives, paramedics and physiotherapists.
She began a six-month paid placement at the Alexandra Hospital, in Redditch, back in May last year, during the peak of the first wave of the outbreak in the UK. She had been working as a healthcare assistant at the Hospital, but the placement meant more responsibility.
”It was scary, I had no idea what to expect or what I had signed up for,” said the 28-year-old. “But with the support of the teams and colleagues I worked with I was able to still learn and gain confidence as a future nurse.”
Alongside working full-time on placement Becky was working on her dissertation, which she said was a challenging combination. However, Becky’s career has since flourished and she is currently working as a staff nurse on a Trauma & Orthopaedic ward at the Alexandra Hospital.
Becky left school at 16 and became a beauty therapist. However, that all changed at 24, when a family member ended up in hospital long-term. She said: “I visited every day and saw some really good nursing care and things I thought could be changed as an outsider looking in. I wanted to be part of that.
“I came to an Open Day and loved how welcoming and accommodating the University was. After going to other university open days, I realised Worcester would be able to support me better going back to education after being out of it for so long.”
Becky now hopes to work in major trauma in the future and has even considered doing a Master’s.