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News Final year student nurses volunteer their services to NHS

Staffordshire University nursing students have stepped up to help the NHS through the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

Nursing students taking part in simulation activity
Image: Nursing students taking part in simulation activity

Four out of five of our final year students have already indicated that they are ready to play their part and we have been blown away by their response.

Dr Ann Ewens, Dean of the School of Health and Social Care

158 of the University’s third year Adult, Child and Mental Health students have reported themselves as being willing and able to undertake the voluntary paid role in the NHS under the Health Education England guidance.

The vast majority of students from the University’s Centres of Excellence in Heathcare Education at Stafford and Shrewsbury have indicated that they wish to support local NHS Trusts in Staffordshire and Shropshire as they attempt to deal with an increasing number of coronavirus cases .

Erica Blake from Newcastle-under-Lyme said she felt compelled to help provide care at a time when the health service is facing unprecedented demand.

Erica, 23, who is a student representative for the Adult Nursing course at Staffordshire University said: “We’re in our final six months of the course so we’ve had a lot of preparation. I feel able to offer support as I know what the pressures can be on the wards.”

Erica, who has already secured employment on the Acute Medical Unit at University Hospitals of North Midlands Trust, added: “Having no one at risk at home has also contributed to my decision. It’s part of our moral code as a nurse to help people where we possibly can and we know to speak up if we feel we’re not able to do something which is about being a safe nurse.”

Cheryl Firman, 53, from Stoke-on-Trent has previously worked as a nursing assistant at UHNM and continues to work a shift on Saturday nights in the Accident and Emergency department. She said she felt her age and experience helped her not to feel overwhelmed by the current situation.

She added: “So long as I’ve got the correct personal protective equipment (ppe), I’ll do whatever I can do to help. I also work with experienced and colleagues who are fully committed to giving excellent patient care which has given me more confidence.”

Dr Ann Ewens, Dean of the School of Health and Social Care, said: “Four out of five of our final year students have already indicated that they are ready to play their part and we have been blown away by their response.

“Patient care and safety is at the core of their learning and they will be putting everything they’ve learnt into practice during this critical period. Our University will continue to support them through this and subsequently to help them to complete their degrees in a timely manner.”

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