School of Health & Society 12.07.24

Mum inspired to study nursing after caring for son graduates with flying colours

Amy Harding from Oldham has just graduated as a Children and Young People's Nurse from The University of Salford, having been inspired to go into nursing after caring for her son.

Mum of two Amy knew she wanted to become a nurse when her son was diagnosed with brittle asthma when he was just two years old. 

Amy decided it was her goal to train as a children’s nurse after watching him go through several life-threatening asthma attacks - including one which ended up with him being intubated. 

She started her degree in 2020 and has now walked straight into a job at Oldham Hospital. 

She has praised her tutors at the School of Health and Society for supporting her throughout her degree, especially in helping her arrange a placement with a respiratory nurse specialist which enabled her to look after children who had suffered like her son. 

One of her proudest achievements during her course was working with medical teams on the delivery of Fractional Exhaled Nitric Oxide (FeNO) testing, a medical technology used to aid in the diagnosis of asthma. 

Amy explains: “I was in a meeting with the healthcare teams who were highlighting the benefits of FeNO testing. I mentioned that from my experience the test can be quite tricky, as my son had done it numerous times. We all agreed that a video would be useful to help explain how to do the test.”

Amy then worked with the asthma team to make two different videos, which are now being used to help families all over Greater Manchester to show them how to do the FeNO testing. 

Amy says: “These videos help ensure each child knows what to expect when going into their FeNO appointment and so should relieve any anxiety they may have. They also include educational information to help children gain a deeper understanding of their asthma, supporting person-centred care. 

“In my final week on placement with the asthma nurse I was really proud to deliver a presentation on FeNO to the Salford community nurses, specialist nurses and team leaders, highlighting what FeNO is and how it can be beneficial to patient care."

Amy’s tutor at the University even nominated her for a Greater Manchester Health and Care Champion Award for the work she did during her placement, resulting in a letter of congratulations from the Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham. 

Amy chose the University of Salford to do her degree because of its excellent facilities, and for the support of teaching staff. 

“My tutor has offered advice and made sure I could take up really important opportunities, including my placement with the asthma unit, which I found so fulfilling and interesting. I’m so grateful.”