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Q&A with HNC Healthcare Professions learner, Olivia Paul

Olivia Paul, 18, hails from Newcastle upon Tyne, but chose to study at NSCG to help her to progress onto a Biomedical Science Degree at Keele University. Combining work experience in a local care home, Olivia chats to us about her experiences of life as a university-level learner at at NSCG Newcastle College.

Why did you decide to study the HNC Healthcare Professions Support for England at NSCG?

I decided to study this course because at the time I figured that this was the most fitting course for me. I didn't quite get enough UCAS points to get into my dream university course, but my friends recommended it to me and how it would help me long-term to achieve my career goals. 

Do you manage to work part time to gain valuable work experience?

Yes, I work at Rowan Court Care Home as a Care Assistant. It is part of my placement for my course requirements. I work three days each week consisting of 12-hour shifts. I really enjoy the role and helping residents with their day-to-day activities and individual needs.

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How are your lecturers helping you to gain the skills needed to stand out from the crowd in this rewarding sector?

My lecturers are the best people in the world. Without them and their help, I know I would struggle so much with assignments or just the work in general. Their support has meant the world to me and they always make sure that we are all OK with the work and if any extra support is needed. The teaching team at NSCG are a massive part of the course.

What have you enjoyed most about the course?

I love how interesting the units of the course have been. For example, the Anatomy and Physiology unit really inspired me because I want to study biomedical science at Keele University. Being able to learn about the human body intrigued me and furthered my interests even more! The course has helped me overall to become more confident, which has been a huge aspect for me. Delivering presentations to the class wa something I've never done before, but with help from my lecturers, they helped me to overcome my anxieties of getting up in front of people.

What should learners check out at college?

There are lots of learning spaces and the atmosphere is great.

The class sizes at NSCG are smaller than most universities. Was this a positive aspect for you?

The class size is quite small which has been great. We have all become close friends and we all help each other with anything. This has definitely helped me personally to become more confident.

How has the course changed your life so far?

This course has really given me the focus to do my best in life. At one point, I was struggling to choose between nursing and biomedical science. However, with the support from my lecturers, I realised that biomedical science is the career for me. Studying the HNC has helped me to develop my skills to follow instructions and procedures, to always be cheerful and friendly as this is really important. I actually come from the North East in Newcastle Upon Tyne, so a 3-4 hour drive from home, which has been a big thing for me. I live in student accommodation local to college, but this has helped me to grow as a person.

What's next for you?

I have applied to study Biomedical Science at Keele University. I hope to then progress onto a Masters Degree in this area.

What would your advice be for learners who are still deciding on what do next?

If you're thinking of studying close by, this is a great option. Enjoy yourself, and never be afraid to ask for help. Like any course, it can get stressful at times, but everyone on your course including peers and lecturers will be there to support you when you need it.

For more information about studying a University level course at NSCG, click here.