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Having taken the conventional nursing training route some 30 years ago, Catherine Gadd decided to study for her Masters in Advanced Healthcare Practice (Clinical) following an inspiring conversation at work.
"I had never intended taking a Masters degree. I didn't want to spend my time churning out paperwork, dissertations and theses that had no bearing on my daily life. However, a colleague told me about the Clinical Examination CPD module and I decided to give it ago.
Impressed by just how practical the module was I went on to complete the Diagnostics module. Northwest funding then became available and I was offered the opportunity to continue with my studies and complete the full Masters degree.
Postgraduate study certainly wasn’t what I had expected. It is so clinically focused and far more interesting. I think it is brilliant. Obviously you have to reach a set academic standard but the focus is on real, juicy, clinical knowledge that you can use in the workplace and that is just what I wanted.
The highlight of the programme for me has been meeting a really inspiring, credible team of lecturers. The teaching sessions go so quickly and you really do hang on your lecturer’s every word. The standard of teaching has been consistently high. Staff speak so eloquently and convey the information in a manner which is really easy to take in. They are all very different but are so clinically credible, having a lot of experience and expertise.
One thing that really stands out about LJMU is the way that you are made to feel like an individual - even though staff must see so many different people. Forging that personal link really makes a difference and gives you the confidence to email or call staff when you need their advice.
I would encourage anyone to come to LJMU to study at postgraduate level. For someone like myself with a practical background it is amazing. I have been taught systematic methods of doing things – methods that colleagues studying at other universities simply haven’t encountered. Some of the learning is subtle too, making you see things in a different way, especially ethical and legal issues. In a number of work situations I have surprised myself by applying concepts I hadn't realised had altered my thought processes.
In essence I would say that my Masters study has enabled me to think far more laterally about a world I thought I understood. It has also given me a better knowledge of the roles of others. I really can’t recommend it enough.”