Moira Rowan, Diploma in Tropical Nursing alumna and Dementia and Delirium Nurse for the NHS told us about her career and her time studying at the School.
Moira started her nursing training in the ’80s in South Africa and found herself working in A&E. When asked why she chose to study a Diploma in Tropical Nursing, Moira explained, “we often had patients who arrived very ill and were diagnosed with various infectious diseases, and sometimes the medics were unsure of the diagnosis. We were often asked to enter our names into a ‘contact book’ and this made me very scared at the time, so I always wanted to learn more about the disease process and how to prevent and nurse patients who were suffering.” Moira graduated from the School in 2003, a moment that she told us was one of the proudest in her career.
Moira described the challenges she faced during her studies. “I found it hard to grasp the laboratory component of the course, but once I was able to start to recognise disease patterns, it was very easy and I managed to score a very high pass mark in my final exams. Another challenge was once qualified, there were very few jobs available; there was a number of voluntary positions around the world but I was financially unable to take up those positions.”
Moira has just completed an MSc in Dementia Care Education, her dissertation focused on stigma and why carers of people with dementia do not access support services. “I noticed that infectious diseases often have stigma attached to them and I am interested in exploring the link between HIV and Dementia in the future”; her Diploma in Tropical Nursing has provided her with a good foundation to carry out further research in this area.
In the future Moira hopes to build on her studies, do more research, write papers, and teach. Her advice to current students is “network as much as possible, build professional relationships with others and explore career opportunities.”
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