21 March 2019
Nursing student Ali discusses what drew him towards the child nursing course and how he wishes to break through the stereotype.
'Why don’t you look into paediatric nursing? It’s a great career!'
This sentence was the first time I’d ever even thought of becoming a nurse. I was 16 years old in Kings College Hospital, London and I was visiting my 7-month-old nephew who was on the international paediatric hepatology ward awaiting a transplant. The past few months had been full of months and months of back and forth between my local hospital in Buckinghamshire and the tertiary specialist hospital for my nephew in South London. I was doing my GCSEs at the time and through doing Health and Social Care, I was curious about the job role of a nurse.
The nurse looking after my nephew on a sunny afternoon in April 2016 when I was visiting also had a second-year male student nurse with her. He came and took my nephew's 4-hourly observations and while he was there, I took the opportunity to ask him everything that was on my mind. Questions ranging from how each day usually went for him, what he studied in order to work with children, how emotionally challenging did he find it… All of this confirmed in my head that I wanted to work with children, make a different to their lives as well as their families and that nursing was the career for me.
When I arrived home that night, I began researching further into the role and the more I researched the more it became clear to me that this was something I seriously wanted to go into. I researched the universities I wanted to go to, and I knew that I wanted to study somewhere that wasn’t as busy as London, but close enough to home and had plenty of student life surrounding it: so, ARU Cambridge became the place for me.
I worked hard during my 2 years of Sixth Form, with the end goal of becoming a paediatric student nurse at ARU in mind. I did plenty of work experience in my local Accident & Emergency department which to this day has sparked a huge interest to work long-term in a Resus department. I also gained some experience in the Evelina Children’s Hospital, London a month before I began my studies at ARU, which made me very excited to begin studying and make the most of the opportunities handed to me.
I am thoroughly enjoying my time both as a first-year student nurse, and as an ARU student. Being a male (and the only one on my course) has not hindered my approach to nursing or studies in any way. ARU have been so welcoming to me and I think that being a male nurse is great, as it not only breaks the stereotype that nursing is a ‘women’s-only’ career, but also brings a new perspective to the care that can be delivered.
BSc (Hons) child Nursing student