Deborah Tallack, BNurs 2016 | Staff Nurse
Debbie graduated in 2016 and is now a staff nurse at the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at Birmingham Women's and Children's Hospital. Debbie is also completing a foundation course in Intensive Care.
What is your current role and what does it involve?
I am a staff nurse and responsible for one patient each shift. The cases can be trauma/renal/liver/neuro/respiratory/cardiac - anything! The patients are often ventilated with infusions (including inotropes, sedation and pain relief) and I manage their care throughout the shift and liaise with other professionals regarding concerns or changes. I do observations, blood gas tests, meds (IV/oral/IM etc) and suctioning. I need to make decisions about whether certain medications should be given (such as evaluating if a med that will drop blood pressure can be given or delayed)
What do you love the most about your job and what is the biggest challenge?
I love that the environment is so intense and that you're always learning but, on the flip side, as there is so much to learn it can feel very overwhelming and scary.
How did your degree help prepare you for your career?
The critical care module was the most beneficial to my current role. It felt like the most suited for applied nursing.
What attracted you to studying at Birmingham?
The common foundation year - I picked a different field to what I thought I would and couldn't have been happier with my decision
How would you sum up your time in Birmingham in three words?
Challenging, inspirational and tiring!
What inspired you most during your time at Birmingham?
Certain staff who were excellent at inspiring and engaging us.
What tips/ advice would you give to people who are considering studying Nursing at Birmingham?
Be prepared to be tired a lot. Be prepared to consider quitting a few times. Be sure it is what you really want. Whatever field you decide to go into - the common foundation year that the University of Birmingham offers will give you massive amounts of transferrable knowledge and skills
How would you advise people to make the most of their time on their course?
When on placement, make the most of your student time to visit other areas as pathways (for example, if you're with a health visitor - go to baby groups run by midwives/nurses, go to antenatal clinics, go to specialist hospital groups for young babies with health problems...look for what is around and available and go and do a day there - it all helps shape you even if it’s a boring day).