Students Staff

19 May 2016

Tahnee wins Nursing Student of the Year award from NHS Trust

Tahnee Kemp

Tahnee Kemp won the student of the year award

First year BSc Nursing (Adult) student Tahnee Kemp has just been named student of the year by South Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (SEPT).

The 22-year-old from Rainham believes becoming a nurse is the “most rewarding thing you can do” and is studying at our Southend Campus.

So far she has completed two placements with SEPT which provides community health, mental health and learning disability services for nearly 2.5 million people across Essex, Bedfordshire and Luton.

We caught up with Tahnee to ask her about her success and her experiences since joining the School of Health and Human Sciences at Essex.

What does it feel like to receive this award?

I am really honoured to receive the SEPT student of the year award. I was invited along to a SEPT celebration conference in Stansted this month and absolutely loved the whole day! I met some incredible professionals and it gave me every incentive to continue studying so I can be sitting there one day as a qualified nurse.

Where have you been working at SEPT?

As I am a first year student, I have only had two placements so far. In the first I was based in St Margaret’s Hospital in Epping for six weeks and the second was with an amazing team of district nurses based in Loughton. I thoroughly enjoyed both placements, all SEPT staff members made me feel welcome and part of their teams.

What is the secret of making the most from your student placement?

As a first year student nurse, the thought of starting a placement is terrifying, each new placement is like your first day at a new school or workplace. I would advise any student nurse to just make the most of the opportunities they are given, each new procedure or daunting situation is a learning curve but it really is the best way to learn. I found it extremely beneficial talking and communicating with patients, getting to know them and their hopes and fears, you learn a lot by looking around and taking every experience in. The secret to getting through your placements is to make good friends whilst at university, your course colleagues are the ones who will understand every emotion you go through and every task you face, these friends are the most valuable people to you when getting through a degree.

What have you enjoyed most about your placements?

I have been fortunate to have been placed into some amazing teams so far, both placements have really made me feel welcome, so I have really enjoyed being part of a strong nursing team. Also I would stay the thing I have enjoyed most about placements is being able to say “I’ll do this procedure”. Having the confidence in completing a procedure alone is the best feeling.

What inspired you to train to be a nurse?

From a young age, I always knew I wanted to help others, I left college and then completed a criminology degree, although I absolutely loved all aspects of the course, I knew it wasn’t enough for me.

I once overheard a nurse say to a nursing colleague “you can’t teach someone compassion, that comes naturally” and a little lightbulb went off in my head and I thought “that’s me”. I applied for the BSc Nursing (Adult) degree course at Essex that evening. I wanted to become a nurse because knowing you can make difference to someone’s life everyday makes nursing the most rewarding job of all.

What do you hope to go on to do in the future?

I have an interest in oncology nursing - caring and supporting patients with cancer, However, as I am a first year student, I want to make the most of each opportunity and remain open-minded throughout each placement.

What have you gained from studying at Essex?

I absolutely love being at the University of Essex! The support you receive from all members of staff is incredible, I have met some amazing people and feel honoured to study alongside them. The peer support on the BSc Adult Nursing course is outstanding.

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