4 Reasons Health Students need U:PASS

Written by Lara Ralph (Sport and Exercise Science) and Maiki Sun (Sport and Exercise Science)

UTS offers several services to help you make the most of your time at uni, and U:PASS is the place to go if you’re having any issues with subjects or exams. U:PASS is a student learning program designed to assist students who are studying subjects that are perceived as difficult or that historically have a high failure rate.

U:PASS is part of HELPS, which provides English and academic support to all UTS students. We reached out to some of our student ambassadors to hear about their experiences with the service, and why you should consider taking part!

Hear from Health student ambassadors Lara and Maiki, who share their top 4 reasons that fellow Health students need U:PASS.

1) To have the time to process complex concepts.

“At times where content is coming students’ way at a fast pace, U:PASS sessions provide an opportunity to breakdown and go over complex ideas at a slower pace.

Once students have understood the content, it is great to see them conversing with each other – discussing how these might apply in practice and what the best ways to revise these might be. Even better – a fellow peer might be able to explain how they learnt and understood the concept, so there is plenty of knowledge-sharing occurring.” – Lara Ralph

“The students teaching U:PASS all know exactly what you are going through! They can share their own advice and analogies for learning the content.” – Maiki Sun

2) To meet like-minded students who share your passion for the course.

“U:PASS gives you the opportunity to learn off other students and bounce ideas around. Explaining concepts to other students is also a great study strategy! It can be hard to make friends at uni, so the small classes in U:PASS give you the opportunity to meet others. This is especially useful for when you have group assignments!” – Maiki Sun

“Students might attend U:PASS because they are highly interested in the content and don’t want to miss an opportunity to extend their learning. Alternatively, students might attend because they learn better in collaborative, informal environments as opposed to straight from lectures and lessons.

Either way, U:PASS allows you to meet students who share similar learning styles, interests and levels of curiosity to you… plus you get the opportunity to catch-up every week!” – Lara Ralph

3) To gain extra access to resources – such as anatomy models used in difficult exams!

For those like me who have ‘educational FOMO’, U:PASS is an opportunity you can’t miss. By attending these sessions, students are able to obtain access to extra resources such as practice questions and activities.

For the two anatomy subjects I lead sessions in, students get exclusive access to anatomy models that can’t be accessed elsewhere outside of labs. Plus, these are the same anatomy models used in practical exams, so the extra time available working with them is invaluable.” – Lara Ralph

4) To ask questions!

“U:PASS gives you the opportunity to ask questions you weren’t confident to ask in class or didn’t think of! The classes are much smaller than your normal tutorials so you can spend more time understanding the difficult concepts” – Maiki Sun

Find out more about U:PASS

5 questions with Maiki (Sport and Exercise)

Written by Maiki Sun, UTS Sport and Exercise Science student

Get to know one of our Sport and Exercise student ambassadors, Maiki!

1. What inspired you to study your degree?

I wanted to help people maximise their performance in sport and rehabilitate well from injury, so they can get back to doing what they love quickly while avoiding further injury. I’ve also had many different injuries in the past, so I wanted to help people in the same way that the physiotherapists and other health professionals that I saw helped me.

2. What are your career plans or goals?

I hope to get into the Masters of Physiotherapy program and pursue a career in physiotherapy. Whether I get the chance to work with elite athletes or the general population, my main goal is to help people get the best out of their bodies – to the best of my abilities!

Students in the Sports Hall at the UTS Moore Park campus

3. What’s it like to be a student at UTS?

Being a student at UTS means you will undertake many subjects that are easily related to everyday life and sporting performance! The lecturers and tutors are open and willing to answer your questions and help you in any way they can.

The UTS community wants to provide you with all the tools and resources necessary so that you can succeed at anything you want to achieve.

4. What’s been your favourite subject so far?

That is a hard question! I’ve loved a lot of my subjects such as Anatomy and Exercise Physiology, but my favourite would have to be Motor Control and Learning. I found it quite challenging, but I really enjoyed studying the learning process and how skills progress.

It made me realise that there is so much to simple movements (even picking up a cup!), but the understanding of these fundamental skills and the theories of movement can help to develop understanding of more complex movements.

Strength and Conditioning Lab at UTS Moore Park Campus

5. What’s your best advice for managing your work, study, and social commitments in this degree?

My best advice would be to stay on top of all the lectures, tutorials, and readings as they are released week by week, while also asking lots of questions! I have also learnt that it is important to take some time off to recharge each week so you can maximise your study time.

Find out more about studying Sport and Exercise at UTS

Pursuing my nursing degree as a mature-aged student

Written by Chantelle Uvero, UTS Bachelor of Nursing student

Has it been a while since you last studied? Maybe you took a break, or you’re feeling stuck and unsure of where you’re going?

That’s OK! I remember that feeling and it was always daunting. It’s how I remember my first experience getting into university almost a decade ago and with many new experiences along the way, I still get that same feeling – but I’ve learned to appreciate it.

Let me share my experience with you as a mature-aged student: “Is nursing for me?”

Nursing was never my first choice, but I’d asked myself that question for a while. I started university straight out of high school studying Medical Science. I quickly realised that I couldn’t see myself pursuing a career in that field.

Feeling lost, I sought change, even though it had been years after I finished high school. I was studying part-time, decided to take a gap year, and went back to studying. I went back and forth figuring it out. Finally, I gained some valuable insights into Nursing when chatting to friends about their experience as Registered Nurses.

There was one thing they had in common: a desire to care for people. That’s what I desired.

Even though I was a bit older, I started to look into changing direction and finding career pathways. I felt disappointed and was constantly comparing myself to my peers who had already graduated and were moving on to finding full-time jobs. In the end, this only motivated me to find more about what I wanted to do.

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

What I’ve learnt on this path is that life happens in ebbs and flows: change is what makes our paths unique, and it gives us all different experiences to share and learn from.

That’s where I see the beauty of coming into Nursing – being able to share my own experience and hearing about the experience of others, whether it’s in labs or at the bedside.

Throughout my experience at UTS, I’ve had the opportunity to meet, study, work with and care for so many people from different walks of life. In fact, many of the friends I have made are also mature-aged students!

It has been humbling and makes me appreciate the journey I’ve been through to get here. I learnt more about the people around me and myself along the way, allowing me to broaden my mindset and appreciate ideas outside of what I thought I knew about Nursing.

I’ve had experiences learning how to perform the clinical skills necessary to help the people around me and I’ve become more confident in fulfilling my passion as a nurse.

My advice to you: don’t be afraid to question your journey or to learn more about where you want to go. I don’t regret the changes and the experiences I’ve had – they’ve given me the chance to appreciate the differences in people and their journeys. Go out there, even if you feel it’s all daunting, never be afraid to use that feeling to change your direction and pursue your desired path!

A student guide to maintaining your wellbeing at uni

Written by Chantelle Uvero, UTS Bachelor of Nursing student

Whether you’re staff, a new student, or a continuing student – maintaining wellbeing can be difficult. As we see assessment and exam dates creeping our way, it can feel quite overwhelming.

This is why maintaining our physical, emotional, and psychological wellbeing is crucial, no matter what time during the semester. It’s easy to get carried away when life gets hectic, so it’s important that we make time for the things in life that give us energy and motivation.

Here are some ways that can help you maintain your wellbeing:

  • Schedule in your downtime: It’s easy to forget how busy we can be and not give ourselves proper breaks. Keep a planner or use the calendar app on your device to help keep yourself on track. Make time for things that you enjoy – even just for an hour a day!
  • Check in with friends and family: Keep in touch with your loved ones and the people who lift you up. Surround yourself with people who will make sure you’re on the right track. Sometimes we forget to stop and take moments to see how we’re doing along the way. Having someone help us be accountable (and vice versa) for how we’re doing is important, so we can evaluate what we’re doing and why.
  • Keep active and don’t forget to rest: Exercise gets a positive wrap for wellbeing and for the right reasons. Exercising not only helps you keep physically strong, but can assist with mental and cognitive function. From going for walks, lifting weights at the gym to boxing classes – find an exercise that you enjoy! Get a friend to join, and don’t forget to listen to your body and get enough rest and sleep when you need it.
  • Downtime and hobbies: Enjoy your down time by doing something that you enjoy: watching an episode or two on Netflix, learning an instrument or even a language, trying out that sport you’ve always been interested in, reading, writing, drawing, or painting. If you need some inspiration, ActivateUTS has a range of clubs and societies that you can check out!
  • Express your emotions: Writing down and reflecting on thoughts, talking to a friend or a therapist, or even participating in creative arts are some ways you can express emotions. It’s important to notice when you feel like you’re struggling, and asking for help is always OK. If you need any assistance, visit your GP, or check out university services such as counselling and medical services. Visit Current Student Support for more.

Wellbeing is very personal and unique to all of us. This isn’t an exhaustive list, but hopefully, it gives you an idea of where you can start.

It’s important we go through the nitty-gritty of our everyday life and still be able to show up healthy and happy to take on our studies and work. Just remember that we all have different approaches to how we recharge so we can have a balanced lifestyle, so explore what works for you.

Wishing you the best – good luck!

Learn about studying Health at UTS.

Nurses: A Voice to Lead

Written by Tracy Levett-Jones, Professor of Nursing Education and Head of School at the University of Technology Sydney

Today on the blog, we’re celebrating International Nurses Day with Professor Tracy Levett-Jones, Head Of Nursing And Midwifery.  

Nightingale’s legacy

A few years ago, I visited the Florence Nightingale Museum in London. Situated near St. Thomas Hospital, where the original Nightingale Training School was established, this surprisingly modest building houses a collection of fascinating historical artefacts and memorabilia from the Crimean War.

As I wandered through the exhibition I couldn’t help thinking about Nightingale’s tenacity, indomitable strength and the many challenges she had to overcome. From the beginning her parents vehemently opposed her choice of career, viewing nursing as a job for the poorly educated working class, and not appropriate for a respectable woman.

During the Crimean War, Nightingale and the other army nurses worked in rat-infested and overcrowded conditions, surrounded by filth, decay, disease, pain and suffering, tending thousands of wounded and dying soldiers; and Nightingale’s attempts to implement change and improve patient care were often met with resistance from her medical colleagues.

Nightingale’s story is one of resilience, determination, strength and an unwavering sense of purpose; attributes that enabled her to eventually transform healthcare practice and education.

Tracy Levett-Jones

When inspecting the Turkish lantern similar to one that Nightingale was famous for using on her ward rounds as she checked on ill, injured and dying young men, one of the museum curators shared an intriguing story…

Nightingale had been renamed ‘the Lady with the Lamp’ by a war correspondent from the Times newspaper as he felt that the nickname she had been originally been given, ‘Lady with the Hammer’, was unseemly for a respectable woman.

The curator explained that Nightingale, desperate for supplies and angered by those who would withhold those supplies from her nurses and patients, was known to take up a sledgehammer and smash the locks on the doors of the military storerooms. She may have been a woman from upper class England, but she had no hesitation in taking whatever action was needed to rectify injustice.

Throughout her life, Nightingale was a political activist and a highly effective researcher; she advocated for those who were disadvantaged and wrote extensively about the environmental and social causes of poor health, criminality, and mental illness. Her views on the need for an educated nursing workforce formed the foundation of contemporary education programs.

Image: Andy Roberts

An international celebration

Around the world, International Nurses Day is celebrated on May 12 to celebrate Florence Nightingale’s birthday. This year’s theme ‘A Voice to Lead: A Vision for Future Healthcare’, is an appropriate testament to Nightingale, and the many strong and determined nurses who have and will continue to follow in her footsteps.

Over the last year and around the world, hundreds of thousands of nurses, called by the same sense of conviction as Nightingale and her army nurses, have been working at the front line, fighting a pandemic exacerbated by politics and greed, often in makeshift hospitals and repurposed wards. Understaffed, underfunded and underequipped, nurses in their thousands have become infected by exposure to the virus; and sadly many have died.

Behind the scenes, nurses followed Nightingale’s example and ‘took up the hammer’ (metaphorically), advocating for access to infection control resources to protect staff and improve patient safety, using statistical modelling to respond to the rapidly unfolding global pandemic, and implementing innovative and evidence-based clinical interventions designed to reduce mortality.

Healthcare has been forced to rapidly respond and adapt and, in many cases, it has been nurses who have led the transformation.

Howard Catton, International Council of Nurses Chief Executive Officer, stated that “The pandemic has exposed the weaknesses in our health systems and the enormous pressures our nurses are working under, as well as shining a light on their incredible commitment and courage. What the pandemic has also done is given us the opportunity to call for a reset and the opportunity to explore new models of care where nurses are at the centre of our health systems.”

A voice to lead

Nursing is the largest healthcare workforce in the world and our combined power to enact change and improve healthcare is immense. We must all ‘take up the hammer’ and, in accord with the IND2021 theme, play a leading part in shaping the future of healthcare.

Nightingale remains a role model for contemporary nurses, not as ‘the lady with the lamp’ but as an archetypal feminist, political activist, advocate for social justice, researcher, educator and leader.

Nightingale’s story is one of resilience, determination, strength and an unwavering sense of purpose; attributes that enabled her to eventually transform healthcare practice and education. With the complexity, inherent challenges and dynamic nature of contemporary healthcare, leadership and political advocacy are as critical for today’s nurses as they were for Nightingale nearly two hundred years ago.

Learn more about Nursing at UTS

Celebrating the International Day of the Midwife 2021

Written by Kathleen Baird, Professor and Discipline Lead for Midwifery, University of Technology Sydney

Today, Professor Kathleen Baird from the School of Nursing and Midwifery joins us on the blog as we celebrate the International Day of the Midwife. She talks about what this year’s theme means to her, the future of midwifery and offers some advice to current and future midwifery students.

Celebrating midwives everywhere

Celebrating the International Day of the Midwife every year on the 5th of May allows me and my fellow midwives to join with midwives from around the world to celebrate the incredible work that midwives do for women, their babies, and families.  

This year’s theme ‘Follow the data: Invest in Midwives’ means a lot to me as a midwife. As a midwife, midwifery educator and midwifery researcher, this theme brings to the forefront the important work that midwives do all around the world, every day, to prevent maternal and newborn death.

Image: Andy Roberts

This year, the International Day of the Midwife also coincides with the launch of the State of the World Midwifery Report. This report provides the evidence and the analysis of the midwifery workforce from across the globe.

Midwives are fundamental to ending preventable maternal and newborn deaths, and one of the main aims of midwifery is to provide safe quality maternity care. Using the data provides the evidence from research, which demonstrates that where midwives are the lead carer in maternity services, outcomes for women and babies are vastly improved at every level.  

The future of midwifery

The word midwife – means ‘with woman’ and midwives will continue to work in partnership with women and hopefully will never change.

My vision for midwifery in the future would be that every pregnant woman has access to continuity of midwifery care. Despite the overwhelming evidence that continuity of midwifery care reduces premature birth, low birth weight, reduces caesarean sections rates and improves the normal birth rate, only 10% of women in Australia can access this model of care.

Being a midwife is much more than just a job – it is a privilege; midwives are privileged to be part of a life-changing event for many women.

Kathleen Baird

My vision for the future is that every woman will have access to this model of care, where she will have a midwife that she knows, and that midwife will provide care on a one-to-one basis through the woman’s pregnancy, her birth and in the postnatal period.

Continuity of midwifery care can provide up 90% of essential sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn, and adolescent health care. Therefore, in the future, we must continue to invest in midwives and this model of care, as we know it will lead to healthier families and more robust healthcare systems.

Midwives strive for the pursuit of health and wellbeing for communities in Australia and around the world. Paramount to the role of a midwife is to uphold the rights of women and their babies and to ensure safe and equitable care. However, to do this we must continue to examine the evidence and use that evidence to advocate for change.

To future and current midwifery students

My message to our midwifery students would be to continue to engage with the data and the evidence and never stop questioning practice. Research is an integral part of midwifery; it helps to prevent harmful practices and supports midwives to advocate for changes in midwifery and obstetric practice that is not evidence-based and not woman-centred.

At UTS, all our midwifery students engage with the evidence and research, we want them to embrace research and to have the skill of interpreting high-quality research that we believe is imperative to be able to provide evidence-based midwifery care.

The role of the midwife is now vast and continues to expand and this will provide students with many opportunities in the future. However, I would ask them never to forget that their role regardless of the setting will be to provide safe, respectful, empowering, and equitable care to women and their families, irrespective of the social context and the setting that they may choose to work in.

Being a midwife is much more than just a job – it is a privilege; midwives are privileged to be part of a life-changing event for many women. I would urge all student midwives and midwives to remember that whilst midwifery science and midwifery skills are vitally important to our role and are imperative for safe practice, the other important elements of midwifery are kindness and compassion. It is these two things, which will make the difference to each and individual woman that they care for.

So let us celebrate today, and thank all the midwives and student midwives from around the globe for the amazing work that they do.  

Learn more about Midwifery at UTS

5 questions about studying nursing… with Edwina!

Written by Edwina Phan, UTS Bachelor of Nursing student

1. What made you want to become a nurse?

I grew up having a huge passion for health and science as throughout schooling, I always loved learning about anything in relation to the human body. I wanted a career that was challenging, exciting yet rewarding, as well a career where I can help others because I always knew I had an empathetic nurturing side in ensuring other people are feeling healthy and positive with their lives.

Nursing was clearly the best option for me, and it’s amazing to learn how rewarding the career is and how many endless opportunities are on offer!

©Urupong via Canva.com

2. How did you research your current degree?

I researched heaps! Knowing that I wanted to pursue nursing, I made myself research a lot on a bunch of university websites, trying to seek out the opportunities they offer, the scholarships, as well as the subjects and placement options!

UTS definitely stood out for me because the sites were really easy to read and there is so much content they put up – for example, virtual tours, blogs etc. I ensured I went to open days, collected their handbooks, attended workshops and spoke to many as many ambassadors as I could. Also, my careers advisor in high school helped me heaps!

3. How did you find the transition to uni? Did you go to orientation or use any support services?

I was super keen to go to university because I never really enjoyed high school life. Luckily for me I had many friends that decided pursue nursing with me, so I wasn’t alone! Once I got into UTS I decided to familiarise myself with the campus from Orientation days as well as the Club’s Day. I wanted to feel a part of the university holistically.

After finding my way around things, after the first week everything was a lot easier, I used many support services that assisted me with assessments (known as UPASS) and always asked my friends or tutors for help when needed!

4. What’s the best thing about nursing at UTS?

Definitely the amazing state of the art facilities of our simulation labs in building 10, level 6! It’s a whole level based of modern clinical simulation rooms that depict a real hospital setting which prepares you for future nursing careers, and high-tech manikins that can do things that all humans can do, e.g. vomit, cough, bleed. Other than that, there are also many seats and computers that students can use to study and do assessments.

5. What advice would you give to students considering studying nursing at UTS?

My advice for future students is to cherish every moment of it! 3 years will fly by so quickly. It is definitely going to be a huge rollercoaster. Definitely take it one step at a time, don’t be so hard on yourself and try your best to learn as much as you can. Alongside this, find time to have a social life, meet new friends, and also find time to pursue other interests. Do not leave assessments till last minute, prioritise, seek help if needed, and definitely step out of your comfort zone to learn new skills during clinical placements.

Find out more about studying nursing at UTS

5 questions about studying nursing… with Joshua!

Written by Joshua del Prado, UTS Bachelor of Nursing student

1. What inspired you to study nursing?

I have a passion in helping other people and studying the Bachelor of Nursing will allow me to do this permanently as a lifestyle. The job stability of a nurse and the potential to help those who are in need were all I wanted from a job.

2. What are your career plans or goals?

My goal is to become a registered nurse and work my way into a nurse educator. This is because the nurse educator responsibility is to help the nurses help other people, thus, I would be the helper of the helping!

3. What’s it like to be a student at UTS?

With free food and the abundance of study space, UTS makes their students feel welcomed and supported. As a UTS student, there are many clubs and societies to join and increase your social life as well as many support services like UTS HELPS which ‘helps’ you in your assessments.

4. What’s been your favourite subject so far?

My favourite subject so far would be health and homeostasis 1 and 2. These are the human anatomy subjects for first year. I loved the subjects because we were able to dissect and inspect real sheep lungs, hearts, liver and even their brains! It was very immersive and made me understand how the body communicates to its organs.

5. What’s your best advice for managing your work, study and social commitments in this degree?

Have a routine! After you make your class timetable, I would suggest you also make a rigid timetable in Google calendar consisting of your key responsibilities, such as work commitments, dedicated study times, gym times and social outings.

This timetable should not be followed to the dot but it should be a guide to tell you how much time you have dedicated today to study. This is how I personally managed my studies and social life. Having a routine is super handy to plan for the future as well as the present.

Find out more about studying nursing at UTS

5 ways to stay motivated in nursing school

Written by Ariel Symon, UTS Bachelor of Nursing student

It’s a new year at uni and it’s time to refocus and get motivated again. Here are my five quick top tips:

1. Keep a diary/wall planner

Seeing your schedule planned visually out really helps to keep on top of upcoming assessments.

2. Break tasks up

Splitting up an assignment into small components can help prevent you from feeling overwhelmed by big assignments.

3. Set small goals with certain times to achieve them

Something like “I’ll finish up section 1 by midday, then I can have a break.”

4. Keep active

Exercise can help break up study sessions and keeps you moving.

5. Know your “WHY”

Refocus on what your future goals are – ask yourself where do you want to be at the end of your degree? In 5 years time?

Find out more about studying health at UTS

How to make the most out of your time at uni – from someone who’s been there, done that

Written by Brandon Egan-Walters, UTS Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Management student

Now that I’ve finished up my final year at UTS, here are my five tips for making the most out of your time here:

1. Find a degree that you love or are passionate about

If you do this, you will never study a day in your life again – there is a constant drive to continually learn, develop and grow your knowledge and skills and that initiative opens so many doors that you never thought possible!

2. Take on as many opportunities that you can

University is a unique time of your life, it creates unique opportunities that can shape your personality and your future career.  You never know what something can potentially lead to if you don’t jump in and try!

3. Meet new friends

University is the perfect time to meet like-minded individuals who share the same interests and career goals as you do.  Having a social group is very beneficial when it comes to study sessions as everyone wants to make sure that you all get the most out of your university experience.   You might find some life-long friends on the way. 

4. Build your future career pathways from the ground up

University isn’t not only about the study.  You’re surrounded by a wealth of support services who want to make you are prepared for all challenges ahead of you.  By taking up consultations, like how to build your resume or mock interviews, you’ll have the best opportunity to network with industry professionals and draw out your unique career path while being able to study at the same time.

5. Just have fun

You’re at a time of your life in which you will more than likely never get to experience again.  Study what you’re passionate about, meet a range of new and interesting people, and make the most of your time on campus.  These are the special years that will shape your personal and future career identity!

Find out more about studying health at UTS