Michelle John, BSc Respiratory and Sleep Physiology

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

It’s a unique course in that so much time was spent on placement. The placements were set up so that we got hands on experience in many different hospitals so we could learn about tests and procedures that are not performed in every department; we got exposure to so many hospitals throughout Wales. It was always good to be able to go and put the theory learnt in lectures into practice on placement. Swansea is a great city to study in because you have the vibrant city life and also a great coastline with plenty of beaches and rural places to explore.

What skills did you learn from completing the course and how did they help you get a job?

The course is designed to give you a good physiology base, and then with your specialist modules you develop a good working knowledge which is complimented with the placements. Placements not only give you the practical exposure, but also develop skills in the working environment and starting the process of becoming an independent healthcare professional.

What have you gone on to do after graduating?

As soon as I graduated from Swansea University with my Clinical Physiology with Respiratory Physiology BSc I moved to Nottingham where I had a physiologist role in the Nottingham Respiratory Research Unit and completed my PhD in Respiratory Medicine through the University of Nottingham. This was a great role because I got to do my PhD but also maintain my clinical competencies by working at the same time. My researech was always clinical, so very patient focused - I did a drug trial in patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. From there I moved to develop my career in research in London, working in the Early Phase Research Unit with PAREXEL (a contract research organisation) at Northwick Park Hospital. This was an excellent way to learn more about first in to man drug studies. From there I quickly moved on to my latest role setting up a department in a new children’s hospital.

Where are you currently working? What are you enjoying about it?

I’ve moved to Dubai to open a lung function department in a new children’s speciality hospital. It’s a great experience to be involved in the department set-up and hospital opening from the beginning; as well as experiencing working in a different culture and healthcare system.

Michelle completed her Respiratory and Sleep degree in 2009.