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COVID-19 and Me: David Bethell

Released on - 28/07/2020

COVID-19 and Me: David Bethell

COVID-19 and Me: David Bethell

‘I’ve learnt a lot about myself over the last few months. One of the things that the pandemic has shown me is how incredible the ODP community is. There’s so much support out there. It feels amazing to be part of something so inspirational’.

My name is David Bethell and I’m a third year ODP student at Edge Hill University. 

Although the last few months have been challenging, I’ve learnt a lot about myself and the profession that I’m going to be working in.

When Covid-19 hit, things changed in terms of how we were to begin our third year. I was unable to return to my placement at Whiston Hospital and study at uni was put on hold. All the teaching moved online and we started studying from home – which is tough. Keeping motivated is challenging and there are so many other distractions to contend with, including home schooling and trying to keep things running smoothly in the house.

I knew I’d have to hit the ground running when I returned to my placement and that was my motivation to continue studying. COVID-19 has bought me some time and I’ve tried my best to use it wisely. I’ve been going over previous topics to refresh my knowledge and make sure I keep on top of the basics. I was determined to keep working hard and be as prepared as I possibly could be when I returned to my placement.

Normally we learn some theory and then put it in to practice which really cements the learning. Just learning the theory like I had been doing recently is really difficult. Sometimes I felt as though parts of the jigsaw were missing and it wasn’t quite fitting together. It’s important to remember why you started and to keep the final goal in mind - qualification. Knowing that all the hard work will pay off will get you through.

As a student ODP I feel as though so much of my identity is about being in the operating theatre. With being out of practice for so long, I felt as though I was starting to lose some of that identity. 

The original plan was that I’d go back to my placement in September, but I was invited to go back a earlier and have just returned. I was concerned how I’d feel considering how long I’d been out of practice but the worries were unnecessary. I’ve found my feet quickly, settled back in well and I’m very well supported by all members of staff. It feels good to be back in theatres!

The pandemic has shown me how much support there is within the ODP community. I feel proud and lucky to be joining something so inspiring. I’ve been using online support networks (social media and WhatsApp groups) and it’s been fantastic to see how approachable people are. As well as support from the other students at my uni and in my cohort, I’ve also been able to get help from students from other unis and cohorts, and other courses and professions, 

The pandemic has taught me that I’m more resilient than I‘ve given myself credit for. I’ve also found out that it’s ok to reach out to people, even people I wouldn’t normally reach out to. My advice to other students in my position is don’t be afraid to ask for help, use your peers and go to your lecturers and mentors for help. These are unprecedented times and we’re all in it together.

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