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Young Carers Action Day: Kingston University nursing student on life as young adult carer

Posted Wednesday 13 March 2024

Young Carers Action Day: Kingston University nursing student on life as young adult carer Hana Hussein is an adult nursing student supported by Kingston University's KU Cares programme as a young adult carer.

Kingston University adult nursing student Hana Hussein is a young adult carer and is supported by the University's KU Cares programme. For Carers Trust's Young Carers Action Day (13 March), they spoke about the challenges they face juggling caring responsibilities with their studies and daily life, as well as the support Kingston has provided them.

As a young adult carer navigating the demands of both academia and being a carer, I encountered significant challenges in finding a sustainable balance that would allow me to excel in my studies while fulfilling my ongoing caring responsibilities. The expectations of juggling 12-hour shifts at the hospital as part of my nursing degree, physiotherapy appointments, medication management, and caring responsibilities alongside other aspects of my studies seemed incredibly daunting and overwhelming.

Yet, when I reached out to the KU Cares team, I was reassured of the supportive network that can assist me in overcoming these barriers. Through open discussions and personalised support, I was able to gain clarity on the available resources and adjustments tailored to my specific needs as a young adult carer taking on the expectations of my degree. Which allowed me to approach my academic journey with a renewed confidence.

While already benefitting from the young adult carers bursary, it was my engagement with the KU Cares team that provided me with the opportunity to proactively address potential challenges before they arose. By collaboratively examining my upcoming schedule and caring responsibilities, we were able to identify potential obstacles and develop practical solutions to mitigate them. This proactive approach not only alleviated feelings of being overwhelmed and concerns about managing my workload but also provided me with a clear road map for navigating my academic and caring responsibilities simultaneously without clashes.

Additionally, the support and advocacy provided by the KU Cares team empowered me to effectively communicate my needs to my hospital senior staff. Equipped with evidence and guidance from the KU Cares team, I was able to request reasonable adjustments that facilitated my participation in placement without compromising the quality of care I provided to my loved one and thereby relieving me from being scheduled at the hospital on certain days of the week to avoid clashes in my schedule.

As a result of the personalised support and assistance provided by the KU Cares team, I was able to approach my first placement with punctuality, focus, and a deeper understanding of my studies. This enabled me to excel academically while still having the time and energy to fulfil my caring responsibilities effectively, demonstrating self compassion, and resilience each day. Without the support available I would have felt unequipped to navigate this ongoing challenge as I am now in my second year of the degree, and I am immensely grateful for not having to face it alone.

  • Find out more about Kingston University's KU Cares programme, which helps care leavers, estranged students, young adult carers and sanctuary scholars.
  • Find out more about Carers Trust's Young Carers Action Day.

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