Skip to content
Sarah Tate

Sarah Tate, from Jersey in the Channel Islands, completed a placement in Tanzania while studying a three-year BN (Child) Student Nurse Programme at the University of Chester – and it was a life-affirming experience for her.

Sarah, who graduates later this year, said: “The hospital where we worked was like a different world compared to here in the UK.

“The health inequalities between Tanzania and the wealthy nations are pretty shocking. Basic education and basic medical resources are lacking – and some of the things I saw were entirely preventable, such as malaria in children, where a simple thing like a mosquito net would save many lives.

“I feel we should be doing more to help. I also feel very privileged to be living in the UK, where we receive some of the best healthcare in the world.”

Studying at the University of Chester was a challenge for Sarah, 24, who divided her time between the city and her home in Jersey. She attended the University’s Riverside Campus for theory sessions and returned to Jersey to complete practical placements. She explained: “It suited me well, because it was great to get to know the staff and areas during placements in Jersey, where I hope to work when my course in finished.

“Travel could be difficult, like when bad weather meant flights were cancelled, and accessing resources like the library for assignments at Chester sometimes wasn’t easy. But the staff at the University have always been very supportive.

“The lecturers haven’t just taught me over the past three years – they have also nurtured me, going above and beyond to ensure I have the knowledge and the skills I need. It’s because of them that I’ve enjoyed my course so much!”

A much different work placement to the one in Tanzania helped convince Sarah her future was in nursing sick children – she found working in the paediatric intensive care unit at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool inspiring. “During this placement I realised this was definitely an area in which I could see myself working.

“Gaining my qualification as a children’s nurse means I’m now able to work in a range of different settings where children need medical intervention. And it also means I’ll be able to travel with my job.  One day I’d like to work in Australia and gain more experience of working in another country.”

Making the most of every opportunity that comes your way is vital, says Sarah.  “As a student nurse, it’s important to see and experience everything possible. For example, I’ve was able to watch surgery and visit Claire House children’s hospice. Obviously that was a very different setting to a hospital environment and it was amazing to see care being provided in a holistic family orientated environment.

“The blend of nursing practice and academia has been great. I feel I’ve be able to put into practice the skills and knowledge taught in the classroom and also make sense of situations on placements by learning more about them afterwards in class.”

Sarah’s tutor, Lucy Wallace, Programme Leader, Children and Young Peoples Nursing, said: “Dividing her time between Chester and Jersey has undoubtedly been challenging for Sarah, but with the support of the University staff, she has excelled.

“Arranging her own work placement in Tanzania enhanced her programme and she shared the experience by discussing it with her peers, broadening their knowledge of the wider global healthcare situation.”

Share this content