Interview with a Health Care Student

Features, Kouvola, Other, student story

I took an interview with a third-year student of Health care bachelor’s degree of Xamk university. It was interesting to ask about her studying process, especially during the pandemic, of course, her opinion about the program, her future plans, and some advice for starters or people, who wondering to be a health care worker in the future.

1.) Hi! Tell us a little bit about yourself.

-Hey, well I have studied public health nursing since 2017, now I am a third-year student, and next year I will graduate.

2.) How your third year differs from the first one and the second one?

The first year and the second one were a little bit busier than this third year is, but the third year is more interesting than the others are because you can more focus on public health nursing courses and you have more practice.  In the first and the second year, we had more registered nurse courses, it was more about treating people, but now we are focusing on how to prevent illnesses. In the first and second years, we had practice at hospitals or facilities where are we treating people, but now practical training is in health care clinics.

3.) Why did you choose this program to study?

– This is a hard question. The main reason is that I like working with people. Also, I think it is because I want to help people, and also, I want to be a part of something good and bigger than me. I suppose this is a part of my personality. I love the idea that I could have an impact on someone’s life and help them to be healthier and help them with everything, I guess.

4.) Why did you choose Xamk?

-To be honest, Xamk was not the first on my university list, because I lived in Tampere at that time, but I did not get to Tampere university, so that is why I came here. I like studying at Xamk and everyone is really nice in our group.  Also, I receive all the necessary information for my future career and teachers are really supportive, they always make sure that we choose a placement or a course that we want to focus on.

5) How your practice is going in corona time?

Well, I was supposed to have two placements this spring but they were canceled because of the pandemic but now I have my first placement after the beginning of the pandemic and there I have to wear a mask and different kinds of protection, and because  I work with babies it is more difficult, I suppose, to do the practical training now.

6.) Do you like online learning?

-It depends on what kind of courses do we have because sometimes I do feel like some courses have more benefits when we study on campus. For example, if it is a maternity clinic course, we have theoretical knowledge, and when we go to the placement we should know how to exam them, but because of the corona, we did not have practice on dolls or each other and now we go to placements without practice that. Also, it is hard to do both practical training and studying now because I have eight hours of placement per day and it is hard to focus on courses, but in the first and the second years, we finished courses before our practice.

7.) Do you miss your campus lessons?

– Yes and no because there are a lot of courses which we need to practice. For example, if it comes to a child health clinic, there are a lot of checkups that we have to do for children, but now we do not courses on the campus and we cannot really practice them. So when we go to placement we do not have that practice which we should have, we have only theoretical knowledge. We have not practiced with each other as we usually do. However, if we have courses that are not related to our work, online learning saves time.

8.) How is your work on the thesis going?

– Well, I have started working on a thesis last year, but now during this pandemic, it is more difficult.

9.) How pandemic affect your training as a nurse?

-Well, we have more responsibility to really learn nurse courses ourselves now, because we do it online from home.

10.) Where you can work if you choose this program?

– Well, I have already mentioned that you will have a lot of options where you can work: in hospitals, occupational health care, maternity clinic, child care clinic, etc. I wanted to work in schools, as a school public health nurse right now.  Also, I am interested in running different projects. For example, if some people or organizations come up with some study ideas ( for instance mental illness between teenagers), I can be a part of this project.

11.) During practice, did you notice some problems in nursing work in Finland that need to be fixed?

– I think communication between the staff and the supervisors is quite poor because there is a lot of miscommunication and disinformation between them. Usually, they have a good relationship, but when things change, the information that is given to staff is not always the “perfect one”, that courses a lot of confusion inside the staff. For example,  if the writing system is changed in our place, sometimes the staff does not really know how they should do it in another way, properly due to the information gets slowly to them or even bosses do not understand how to do it themself, something like that.

12.) Do you see the lack of specialists in this field in Finland?

– Yes, we do need more specialists in this sector. Some people are interested in it but the payments of our job are not that good as it should be, and maybe this pushes someone away. I believe health nurses could help a lot with developing our society, help to grow a healthy generation.

13.) What would you advise people who have chosen this specialization or planning to choose?

– I would say, take things slow and be patient, because sometimes you would definitely think about what is not your field. Also, there is a lot of courses, so prioritize, because you cannot give 100% energy to all of them,  and think about which courses are more important for your future career and try to sit on your learning schedule. Basically, you will do reflections all the time during this program ( for example, what kind of nurse do you want to be? etc.) because you have a lot of options where you can work in health care (also social workplace).