Current student, Bulgarian-born nurse and midwife Dimitrinka Tomova, works in an Emergency Department of an Essex hospital.
She has twice been on humanitarian missions to Africa – most recently to Sierra Leone as part as of the NHS response to the Ebola outbreak.
“I chose the MSc Disaster Healthcare course as I thought it would provide a good foundation for any future humanitarian work. Plus, I hoped I would meet likeminded people who understood and shared my interest and passion for disaster nursing.
All this has proved to be true.
The Disaster Healthcare course is an excellent start for anyone who wants to pursue a career in the humanitarian and disaster sphere.
I have enjoyed every bit of the course and the interactions with my colleagues and lecturers.
I particularly enjoyed the disaster summer school where we did simulation exercises in the field. The atmosphere was incredible.
I have acquired a lot of new knowledge as well as practical skills related to outdoor survival, resilience, security and team dynamics.
When in January 2015 I had to go to Sierra Leone to help with the Ebola crisis, I drew on all these skills and knowledge.
I spent five weeks in an Ebola Treatment Centre as a nursing team leader for UK and local staff. I acquired knowledge and skills that most people will never get the chance to learn or practice in real life. The work was challenging and yet so rewarding.
I never thought I would last more than 10 minutes working in a PPE suit [personal protective equipment] in 30 -35 degrees heat, let alone an hour, but I did.
Pushing my limits, both physical and psychological, is something that I learned in the first year of the Disaster Summer School, and I discovered I can manage I lot more than I suspected."