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Starting University

Hi there, I’m Sam, a second year student on the Operating Department Practice course here at Bournemouth Uni. I’ve lived in the town all my life but when I made the decision to pursue this career path I wasn’t going anywhere else!! Some friends had done courses at BU in the past and always said how much fun it was and how good the courses were.

Having had a bit of time out of the classroom before I enrolled I was a little nervous when I started, however I needn’t have been. Lectures were quite chilled and the lecturers explained the course outline well and delivered their classes in a way that you really didn’t think you were in a class. Everyone was there for the same reason, so you make 30 new friends in a short space of time. Age ranges were from 18-50 so it really is a course for anyone. My favourite part of starting uni was my obsession for stationary returning after 12 years!! Paperchase were very happy!

My day to day

In my course we have practical sessions as well as theory, so it was great to get into the skills labs in Studland house. They have everything!! All the HSS courses have well equipped simulation ‘wards’ and rooms to practice your skills. We have a mock up theatre to practice our scrubbing at the sink,  checking the anaesthetic machine and getting hands on with the different instruments and airway equipment.

Working in an operating theatre might sound exciting, but having no previous experience of working in that area you might be thinking you wouldn’t get accepted on the course. Let me put those thoughts to bed. Although I’d worked in admin roles for the NHS for 8 years prior to applying, I’d never set foot in a theatre. I asked if I could sit in on a list to see if first I could stomach it. The second I did, I knew this was the path for me.

You’re probably wondering what uni life is like at Bournemouth Lansdowne campus? We are rarely in uni the full 5 days; generally 3 or 4 days but you are expected to do your own self study. So you do need to be well disciplined as there is a lot to learn! Around 60% of your time you will be out at your hospital practice placement, so make the most of your semesters at the university campus. You have between 3 and 5 weeks at uni before going off to put all your taught theory and skills sessions into practice over 8-10 weeks before returning for the next phase.

At uni campus there is a dedicated HSS library in Bournemouth House with books, journals, and work stations with computers and printers. Most of the books in the library are also available on your courses internet hub as E-books. Being the more mature student though, I like to have the book in my hands! They are easy to scan in and out and you can get text reminders when they are due in. There is also an open access computer room in Studland house you can (as the name suggests) access at any time, day or night. Both houses have a variety of refreshments and seated areas to chill and contemplate on the days events. We have dedicated staff to help you out with anything from finance or accommodation issues to referencing and setting out your assignments and how to use the online library search. You can easily book a private tutorial.


Away from being at uni lectures, for those days off you are a stones throw (literally) from the town centre where there is good shopping to be had (when your student loan comes in!) and every type of restaurant you could wish for. I lived on subway during my first semester!! Also at the end of the road is east cliff and the famous ‘zig-zag’ down to our beautiful beach and pier. Bournemouth also boasts a vibrant nightlife too for those who like to get on the dance floor. There are at least 4 local venues for comedy and music gigs and a newly built cinema complex for those chill out treat yourself evenings. We get some pretty awesome acts down here! Last gig I went to was Bastille.

So why would you not want to come to Bournemouth to study?!!! Come and study a fantastic course at a successful university with so much to do both in-house and in and around the town.

I’m not going to lie, first year of the ODP course was hard work and it isn’t getting any easier during second year. You really do need to be committed to the course – but you get out of it what you put in! So do your homework, enjoy it and reap the rewards at the end when you are a registered practitioner!! I cant wait!!

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