Matthew Davies, BSc Respiratory and Sleep Physiology

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

The course itself. Studying Respiratory and Sleep Physiology at Swansea was a great experience. The course provided me with the knowledge and clinical experience required to become a Clinical Physiologist. I think the course set up at Swansea was imperative to this experience, the fact that the course is split 50-50 between university time and practice placements prepares you for the working world of Clinical Physiology without losing the “university experience”. Moreover, the staff at the College of Human and Health Sciences are fantastic, full of knowledge, great lecturers, very friendly and what I found most helpful was their approachability. The location of the campus was also quite special, located across the road from Swansea Bay and a short drive/bus ride from the Gower Peninsular and Swansea town centre. Also, Singleton Park campus had a great atmosphere.

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

The course set up is of course predominantly focused on respiratory physiology and lung function testing. However, I was also taught a high standard of human anatomy and physiology and pathophysiology. During lectures and practice placements I learnt how to perform and interpret full lung function tests which includes; spirometry, gas transfer and static lung volumes which is an essential requirement for any Respiratory Physiologist. Other tests that were taught included bronchodilator reversibility testing, exercise challenge testing, bronchial challenge testing, respiratory muscle function testing and blood gas analysis. An understanding of these tests is a requirement for a Respiratory Physiologist. For sleep physiology, I was taught how to set up and analyse nocturnal pulse oximetry and semi-polysomnograms as well as the application of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) for the treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA).

What have you gone on to do after graduating?

After graduating, my first job was at Great Ormond Street Hospital as a band 5 Respiratory and Sleep Physiologist. I have since progressed to a Band 6 Senior Sleep Physiologist.

What would your advice be to new students entering the college?

Organisation and planning are important factors in keeping on top of your workload. There are a lot of great social perks that come with being a student at the University. Therefore, it is important you maintain a healthy balance between the two to ensure you make the most of your studies.

Matthew completed his Respiratory and Sleep degree in 2011.