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'Excited to earn my degree and complete a long line of Dalhousie alumni': Nursing grad looks back on time at Dal as he begins professional career

Posted by Josey Houle, Dal Health Communications Intern on July 7, 2022 in Students
Ahmed (Kamal) Esmat from Cairo, Egypt, is the sixth member of his family to receive a degree from Dalhousie University
Ahmed (Kamal) Esmat from Cairo, Egypt, is the sixth member of his family to receive a degree from Dalhousie University

Convocation Q&A: Ahmed (Kamal) Esmat, Bachelor of Science in Nursing

The Dalhousie Faculty of Health is proud to celebrate our 2022 graduates as they take their first professional steps in their chosen fields. We congratulate you on your incredible accomplishments!

How significant is it for you to receive this degree?

This degree is very significant to me as it opens future career paths, while simultaneously fulfilling a long-term goal of mine. I am the youngest child in a family of six. Both my parents received their master’s degrees from Dalhousie and all three of my older siblings are Dalhousie graduates. For this reason, I am very excited to earn my degree and complete a long line of Dalhousie alumni. 

What were the highlights of your degree?

The highlights of my degree were clinical placements, and the friends that were with me along my journey. The placements are where I truly found my passion and began to understand how I was able to help someone and their family through vulnerable times. I was also able to build lifelong friends during my time at Dalhousie, friends that I can rely on and that always eased whatever stress or pressure I was feeling.

What was your journey to Dal and to this program?

My journey was a short, confusing, yet rewarding one. In high school, I always wanted to be an engineer. I always enjoyed subjects like math, physics, and chemistry. While all my siblings graduated as engineers, I decided to switch my career path to nursing in Grade 12. The possibility of meeting and helping new people on a daily basis truly intrigued me. This was the basis of my decision to start my path towards nursing and healthcare in general.

What topics/research/work did you become passionate about during your education?

While in nursing I became passionate about specific fields such as cardiology and neurology. I also became very intrigued by critical care such as that preformed in Intensive Care Units and Intensive Medical Care Units. I was able to have clinical placements there and it taught me lots about what I wanted to do.

How did COVID-19 impact you during your studies?

Covid was a very difficult time for me as I’m sure it was for everyone else. Not being able to go to campus to attend class, study or just to see my friends was difficult. I found myself with a lot less motivation to study, workout, or do anything productive as I was always stuck in my room. However, the faculty did a great job to accommodate us, and they always seemed to understand the difficulties each student was facing regarding Covid.

What’s next for you?

Thankfully, I was able to graduate with this degree at the relatively young age of 19. Therefore, I am still very excited for what’s yet to come. I have career goals and academic goals still to fulfill. I am currently working on a hospital floor with an Intensive Medical Care Unit, and I look forward to hopefully getting trained there soon. I would like to explore various types of nursing. Alongside work, I am also beginning my path into research as I work with staff on my unit to publish a research project regarding specific patient outcomes. Moreover, I would love to come back to Dalhousie to further my education in healthcare. 

In 2020, while studying at Dalhousie, Esmat was awarded the QEII diversity in health-care bursary, as well as a scholarship from the Canadian Nurses Foundation.