Nursing students who are starting their careers early because of the pandemic have been thanked.
Ceremonies took place at Poole and the Royal Bournemouth hospitals during which each nurse was presented with a pin and a certificate. They also had the opportunity to reflect upon their experiences with Professor Paula Shobbrook, chief nursing officer, and Matt Hodson, deputy chief nursing officer at University Hospitals Dorset.
The group were a mixture of second year and third-year nursing students who opted to take on paid placements to support the hospitals during the pandemic. Following Health Education England’s call for nursing students to take on the roles across the UK, 87 student nurses joined UHD in 2020 and 75 in 2021.
Beginning the transition from student nurse to qualified nurse earlier than expected, they took on the same responsibilities and tasks as senior healthcare assistants in wards across Poole and RBH, managing their own patients under the guidance of their ward teams.
Amanda Curtis one of the nursing students and now a registered nurse based at Poole Hospital said: “Coming in and working through the waves of the pandemic has been tiring, stressful, eye-opening, and heartbreaking at times, but we’ve all supported each other and had a lot of support from the senior management team.
“I hope we never have to go through anything like that again, but I think if you have survived the worst, things can only get better as you progress.”
Prof Shobbrook said: “In a pandemic unlike anything the NHS has seen before, you all stepped up and supported us when we needed you most, and we wish you the very best in your careers. On behalf of both the trust and the trust board I would like to thank you all.”
The third-year nurses that joined UHD have now qualified as registered nurses, and 75 are now working permanently across Poole and RBH. Meanwhile the second year students are now in their final year of study and 44 are being recruited to stay at UHD too.
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