Lois Penhaligan, BSc Respiratory and Sleep Physiology

What did you enjoy the most about the course and studying at Swansea University?

It is a fantastic University with a vibrant campus that is very close to the beach and the town centre. I enjoyed the variety of the course, spending half of the academic year learning the theory in class and the other half in a hospital placement putting the theory into practice. It’s a very hands on degree which is constantly stimulating and preparing you for life as a qualified Clinical Physiologist.

What skills did you learn from completing the course?

Anatomy and physiology of the respiratory system, how to test for respiratory disease – full lung function testing, testing for asthma and smoking related diseases, assessing exercise capacity or problems whilst exercising, allergy testing, testing and treating sleep and breathing disorders e.g. sleep apnoea, respiratory muscle function testing, oxygen assessments, taking blood measurements and assessing a patient’s wellness before flying.

What have you gone on to do after graduating?

Immediately after my last exam I was employed as a band 5 Respiratory Physiologist in Worcester Royal Hospital, I stayed there for 18 months and gained a large variety of knowledge and experience. I went on to climb the ladder to a band 6 Specialist Respiratory Physiologist in Cardiff, which is my current position. I have also branched out into academia by working 1 day per week as a part time Respiratory and Sleep Sciences Lecturer at Swansea University.

What would your advice be to new students?

Use your time on placement wisely, it’s a great way to make a good impression for a future employer.

Lois completed her Respiratory and Sleep degree in 2013.