Thursday, 5 February 2015

Introducing: Corrinne


Learning Disability Nursing Student
Second year
Glasgow Caledonian University

1. What are you looking forward to?
Meeting people and learning in a totally new environment. I've been told Malawians are very friendly and welcoming, so fingers crossed that's true. Oh, and I'm looking forward to making the most of our occasional days off, with sun, markets and various adventures.

2. What will you miss most?

My dog Eddie. He's staying with my friends (who love him) so I know he'll be utterly spoiled while I'm away and probably won't even notice I'm gone. But he's my sidekick and I've never been away from him for this long since I adopted him in Arkansas in 2007.

3. What have you enjoyed most about the planning process so far?

Our lecturers have been massively supportive, and I suspect they're almost as excited about this project as we are. I like seeing how close knit our little team of 6 has become too. Having an excuse to read about Malawi is also great. I read "The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind" by William Kamkwamba over the Christmas break and really enjoyed it.

4. What's been the hardest part of the preparation?

Coordination and time commitment. There's been lots of paperwork and we've held weekly planning meetings, in addition to doing as much reading as possible to prepare for this placement. Juggling that with other placements, assignments and work (and very occasionally a social life) has been a challenge. I've also had to work on having patience. I knew I wanted to go to Malawi when we started first year, but it's only just started to feel like we might actually manage to make it happen. At times it felt like a bit of a gamble to invest all this effort in something we might not get to do. We still have a lot of work to do between now and May, but things are gradually falling into place.

4. Have you ever lived abroad before?

A long time ago, I did a languages degree so I studied abroad for a year. I spent 6 months in Mons, Belgium, and 6 months in St Petersburg, Russia. After that I also lived in Arkansas, USA for nearly 5 years before I moved back to Glasgow in 2011.

5. What made you choose to study LD nursing?

When I lived in Little Rock, I worked for Easter Seals Arkansas, a non profit supporting children and adults with disabilities. I originally volunteered at the Adult Work Center, where I set up an accessible art programme for adults with disabilities. Then I became the Recreation Coordinator for the Children's Rehabilitation Center. I loved my job, and missed it when I moved back to the UK. I wanted to find something similar, but with scope to do even more, and take on bigger challenges. Working with the children and young adults I saw how health had a huge impact on every aspect of their lives. So when I found out about the LD nursing course at GCU, it was exactly what I'd been looking for.

6. How do you think this placement will help you to be a better nurse?

I hope that it will help us to develop resilience, to allow us to handle difficult situations with grace. It will also encourage us to be resourceful, work together as a team, and appreciate things we might currently take for granted.

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