BSc (Hons) in General Nursing, 2016
New students arriving at the Clubs and Societies Day at LYIT each September have a beguiling choice before them. Many groups cover a number of sporting and cultural activities as well as social campaigns. A great way to make friends, enrich campus life and get involved with the community, they can also improve your skills, sometimes in the most unexpected ways!
Sharon Doherty was part of a group that founded the Nursing Society four years ago. A key objective was to create a society that nursing students could enjoy, as nursing students spend long periods in work placements compared to other students. “Those who belong to sporting societies, for instance,” she says, “find they can’t play in all the matches because of work commitments.”
This was the first society to be based in the department (Department of Nursing and Health Studies) so it took a little more time to set up but support from lecturers helped get things going.
Events they have organised, during Sharon’s time as society President, included a food bank, blood pressure and glucose monitoring (for early detection of diabetes). But for sheer enjoyment, nothing compared with the now renowned Teddy Bear’s Hospital.
“I can honestly say it was the highlight of my time at college,” says Sharon. Sharon was involved in developing the idea with lecturers to help young children get used to a hospital or GP environment. Held in LYIT’s nursing lab, the event went from strength to-strength, with children aged four to six, coming to the campus from seven local primary schools. “Children were asked to bring a teddy and say what is wrong with them,” Sharon explains.
“One teddy might have bounced off his bed and broken his leg, so we would put him in the artificial X-Ray machine and give his owner a pre-prepared X-ray of a fractured limb. You might check a teddy’s heartbeat with a stethoscope and bandage other teddies for cuts.” “Working at the Teddy Bear’s Hospital gives you a feel for working with children and also helps your communication skills with the public. You pick up so many tips.”
Sharon was President of the Nursing Society for two years and has now finished her Honours degree in General Nursing. “The nursing degree is a great passport,” she says. “I know from my extended family that an Irish trained nurse is welcomed around the world and I have seen from my own work experience there is no difference at all between university and institute of technology trained nurses.”