Heather Peet - College of Health and Social Care - University of Derby

Heather Peet, BSc SCPHN (Health Visitor) 2012

What are you doing now?

I graduated in Sept 2013 as a Health Visitor and worked for the first 18 months within a deprived area of Derby, delivering the Healthy Child Programme to children, families and communities. This enabled me to put what I’d learnt at University and through clinical placements into practice, which further enhanced my skills and knowledge.

Throughout my training I realised that I aspired to progress to management so I could make a difference at a strategic level. In May 2014 I gained a secondment with Health Education East Midlands as a Clinical Associate, working regionally in the East Midlands for the Health Visitor Implementation Plan. I was part of the regional team with a vision to share best practice, innovations and pathways across organisations for better outcomes for children. On completion I gained a further secondment for six months within my current organisation as Acting Operational Lead for Public Health Children’s Service (School Nursing and Health Visiting).

What were the main reasons you took that course?

I was at the point in my personal life to further my career into management and/or service development. I’ve always felt that I possessed the attributes for this type of role and had previously worked at that level prior to having my own family, so the time was right for me to take further education as a stepping stone for this.

Why did you choose to study the course at the University of Derby?

For a variety of reasons – the University is close to home but also the curriculum fitted with my needs due to the leadership module content.

What impact has studying this course at Derby had on your career?

The University of Derby has a good reputation and this has had a positive impact on my career. My career progression is also as a result of the enthusiasm, drive and motivation passed onto me from the lecturers and I’m extremely grateful to them for this.

How did the lecturers inspire you?

The lecturers inspired me to have a ‘can do’ attitude and believe that I can change practice, inspire others and make positive changes in children’s lives directly or indirectly.

How do you feel the University has helped you in your career so far?

The clinical placements during my course gave me adequate clinical skills to qualify but also equipped me with reflection skills to self-analyse my continued learning needs.

What are your future plans?

I would like to make my current post permanent and continue at this level for the next three to five years. Longer term my aspirations are to work regionally or at a national level, steering policy and service development.

What would you say to anyone thinking of coming to study this course at the University of Derby?

The course is extremely hard work but it’s worth it to achieve a qualification that can lead to an amazing, rewarding career that can make a real difference to children, families and communities. It’s a privilege to work with parents and children at the most important time of their lives.

My practical advice would be to get organised, have strict time/project management skills and to share resources amongst the student cohort.

Who are you still in touch with from University of Derby?

Fellow students from the cohort and I’m still in contact with some of the lecturers.

"The University of Derby has a good reputation and this has had a positive impact on my career." Heather Peet