September 2023

Healthcare heroes: first nursing and physiotherapy graduates celebrate

By Carrie Mok

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Having started their course during the height of the pandemic, the first cohorts of Nursing (Adult) BSc (Hons) and Physiotherapy BSc (Hons) students celebrated this month, as their three years of study drew to a close at University College Birmingham’s graduation ceremony.

As Covid-19 disrupted the world, the students continued steadfastly with their programmes, following strict infection prevention and control measures. Clinical practice in person was initially limited due to social distancing guidelines but the University’s innovative health simulation suite ensured that students would be training in immersive environments that accurately reflected real wards and clinics.

The students then embarked on placements once the vaccination programme was in full swing, with nursing students in Covid wards and physiotherapy students in areas such as neurology inpatients, musculoskeletal outpatients, critical care and respiratory wards across the University Hospitals Birmingham Trust, cementing University College Birmingham’s commitment to supporting regional skill development.

Sarah Smith, Programme Lead for Physiotherapy BSc (Hons), said: “They’re brilliant individuals who put their trust in us to educate and support them to achieve their goal, and we put our trust in them to carry the profession of physiotherapy forward, serving the community of Birmingham and the wider population, in providing outstanding patient care.

“They not only completed a challenging degree programme but to do so during a pandemic illustrates their determination and resilience. We are immensely proud of them and cannot wait to see what they go on to achieve. We hope they keep in touch with us and University College Birmingham and contribute to the development of the programme as valued alumni members.”

"It has been an absolute pleasure to learn from you all. Thank you for all the support and hard work that you put into training us. You guys really are the best of the best."

Ahmina Parveen Physiotherapy BSc (Hons) graduate

Professor Kathryn Riley, Director of Nurse Education said: “All of our incredible first nursing students started their degree right in the middle of the Covid pandemic, and though that in itself presented challenges, the students showed great strength and resolve. They have gained much more than their Nursing and Midwifery Council PIN and degree, having formed close friendships with their peers that will last a lifetime.”

“We are very proud of their achievements so far and wish them every success as they begin their journeys as registered nurses.”

Both courses were new to the university and the programme leaders worked closely to ensure approval by the Nursing and Midwifery Council, and the Health and Care Professions Council and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy respectively.

Find out more about courses in our Department of Health and our state-of-the-art health simulation suite.

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