Mum-of-three Llinos Haf Bates, from Aberystwyth, is in the final year of the BSc (Hons) Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (Occupational Health Nursing) at USW.
A nurse for 28 years, Llinos is a passionate advocate for the influenza vaccine and has been Hywel Dda University Health Board's (HDUHB) flu champion, the NHS Employers Flu Fighters Wales Champion, and runner up in the NHS Employers UK Flu Fighters Champion Award.
Llinos is currently on secondment at HDUHB’s OH department. On completion of the occupational health course, Llinos has been offered a substantive post and promotion within the OH team.
"I enjoy my vocation as a nurse. The momentum of the last few years has inspired me to continue making a difference in public health nursing and join the occupational health team.
My ambition is to gain a substantive role within OH and this course will help me achieve this through obtaining a recognised SCPHN OH qualification, plus Nursing and Midwifery Council registration on part 3 of the register.
Going back to university has been a positive experience! Although tiring at times, I am very lucky to have a supportive family that have enabled me to attend my studies and work full time at the same time.
Travelling to University is a two-and-half-hour journey, but attending university is a commitment I am happy to make, despite the great distance. I attend the course to improve and extend the scope of my professional practice so I am very thankful for the opportunity.
The personal tutor, practice teacher and workplace manager are superb and have supported me along the way, providing advice, mentorship, supervision, and sharing their knowledge and skills set.
The aspects of the course that stand out are the placement days and the diversity of SCPHN OH practice, apparent from the beginning.
I enjoy the simulated learning experiences based in the Crime Scene House and the Hydra Minerva Suite on campus, and other interactive experiences such as focus groups and presentations. School nursing and health-visiting students are also part of my cohort, so there is always an opportunity to share experiences and learn from each other’s disciplines within SCPHN practice. All these experiences help to inform my evidence-based practice whilst on placement.
For my placements, I completed a secondment to the occupational health department of my local health board, an interesting and valuable experience. I was also fortunate to observe OH practice in both the NHS and industry during additional placement days, where I learned a wide range of new skills and knowledge.
Throughout my occupational health training, I have faced a number of personal challenges which led to extenuating circumstances. I sought advice from my personal tutor/ module tutors and the student support centre, both of whom were very understanding. The student advice centre is an excellent resource and was a great support to my personal circumstances. The Study Skills team are also very helpful, especially with academic writing skills.
It has been an opportunity of a lifetime and an honour to be a student in the USW to study BSc SCPHN OH with a very supportive team of tutors; their support has been constant, and much appreciated."