|3rd Level Course:||
BSc Speech and Language Therapy @ Plymouth Marjon University in the south-west of England.
|Why did you choose this course?||
I attended a talk at NUIG about Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) and the work speech and language therapists do. It changed my entire perspective on what I wanted to – I had previously applied for medicine but knew I wouldn’t get the points. I also watched lots of YouTube videos on what SLTs do and decided I wanted to spend my life helping people to communicate with their loved ones.
|How long is/was the course?||
3 years, 5 months
|Current role / employment:||
I have worked as a carer in Ratoath nursing home during the summer to get some experience working with adults with dementia. I have done placement during my course – working with children with speech and language disorders, autism, special needs and cleft palate. My main interest is working with adults – I have previously worked on a brain injury rehabilitation unit, and in a hospital with adults who have acquired swallowing disorders from strokes, heart attacks or dementia.
My final placement starts in September – I will be working full time on a Brain Injury Rehabilitation unit in Bristol and this is the job I want to apply for once I graduate. It’s a tough place to work – I have seen people who have been through really tough times in their life and people who are coming to the end of their life. I wouldn’t change it for the world – if I can walk into a hospital room and feed someone the last meal they will ever eat, I have helped to make their last few moments special. My dissertation (thesis) is a new approach to treating adults who have acquired speech disorders after a brain injury.
Once I graduate, I can work all over the world and I want to spend a year working in Canada or New Zealand. As I will work for the National Health Service in England, I can apply for a funded Masters programme as a researcher – it’s still a while away though!
|Best career achievement to date:||
Hearing a little boy who was born with a cleft palate say his own name for the first time at the age of 7 and watching my tutor cry as she realised his mam would be able to hear her son say his own name for the first time in his life.
|Have you any advice for our current students?||
Do not let the leaving certificate define you, or even your CAO offers. I was 80 points short of the entry requirements when I received my offer from the UK. I think everything that happens has a reason behind it, and no matter how scary and difficult it is now – you will end up where you need to be doing what you need to do, whether it takes 3 years or 30 years.
Keep fighting and pushing for what you want – volunteer, watch YouTube, work hard but most of all remember you are more than some numbers on a piece of paper.
|Best memory of Ratoath College:||
Our TY camping trip.