'Amazing' - that's how Learning Disability Nursing (LDN) student Sam Souter feels to have landed a community-based role in her home county ahead of qualifying.
The 31-year-old will take up her post as a primary care learning disability liaison nurse with the Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust at the end of September.
Duties will include going into GP surgeries to offer staff training on learning disabilities and making reasonable adjustments for patients.
"It's good to be able to secure a community-based job in adult services, which is what I prefer," she said. "It was the perfect role for me to apply for."
Now on her final placement, Sam feels prepared for the working world.
"DMU is really thoughtful about placements for students," she said. "They put you somewhere you could possibly work when qualified, which gives you insight into places you would like to work."
Sam with the toys she donated to a Peruvian orphanage
Sam has also felt supported in her academic studies, having struggled at school due to undiagnosed dyslexia.
She was inspired to go back to college by the birth of her second child and, through hard work and determination, gained the necessary qualifications to study at university.
"I suspected I had dyslexia and raised this straightaway with my personal tutor," said Sam, who balances assignments, placements and exams with the needs of a young family. "I was screened, diagnosed and had support in place in the first month at DMU.
"I'm also type 1 diabetic. I used to get stressed about exams but DMU is really supportive and makes sure reasonable adjustments are in place. I'm always notified of this in advance, which has taken away the anxiety.
"My personal tutor Justine Barksby is so supportive, I couldn't have asked for better. Having that support at university has impacted positively on me."
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Sam chose to study LDN because of her older sister.
"Jodie was born with cerebral palsy," she said. "She had a profound learning disability and severe epilepsy. Throughout my childhood I helped care for Jodie along with my three sisters.
"Sadly, Jodie passed away when she was 17. Having this background of knowledge, care and compassion, I knew I wanted to give this care to others with a learning disability."
Sam in Peru, where she volunteered at an orphanage
It was in Jodie's honour that Sam raised funds for toys and volunteered at an orphanage in Peru through the #DMUglobal international experience programme in co-operation with International Volunteer HQ.
Describing it as a highlight of her university experience, Sam added: "The overall experience was great for my nursing career and personal life.
"I feel my time made such a difference to the children's lives."
Posted on Thursday 25th July 2019