Hundreds more students nurses join the coronavirus battle

Student nurses and other health students at the Lancaster-based University of Cumbria are set to take up positions in the NHS in response to the coronavirus crisis.

Wednesday, 22nd April 2020, 11:45 am
Brian Webster Hensderson

Third year nursing students with less than six months left to go before their official registration are being invited to go back into paid placement in an opt-in basis to help the NHS workforce.

Second year students who are not in the final six months of study will also be able to spend 80 per cent of their time in clinical practice and 20 per cent in academic study during the emergency. They will also be paid. This will put hundreds more nurses into the sector.

Professor Brian Webster-Henderson, who is pro-vice chancellor for the university also holds a national position as chairman of the Council of Deans of Health UK and has played a keyl role in mobilising the student body to support the NHS’ needs.

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He said: "We are working under unprecedented circumstances and we needed to find a pragmatic approach ensuring our dedicated students can contribute to the fight against this virus where they wish to do so.

“Their well-being is uppermost and it’s imperative that our students only work within their competency.

“The university is taking its role very seriously in working with NHS to ensure our students can make a positive contribution, while balancing their welfare on these extended placements.”

This news comes at the university unveils plans to roll-out free online training for registered nurses to help them care for critically ill patients.

The training, funded by Health Education England, will be available to nurses in North East, Cumbria, Yorkshire and North Lancashire.

This training is to upskill the workforce to help them develop the knowledge and skills necessary when caring for patients who are critically unwell due to Covid-19.

Meanwhile, Ken Holmes, a senior lecturer in medical imaging sciences at the university’s Institute of Health, is working with scores of radiography colleagues around the world.

Ken, a Fellow of the College of Radiographers, and Professor Peter Hogg, from Salford University, have helped produce new e-learning resources that focus on carrying out mobile chest X-rays on patients with or suspected of having Covid-19.

The resources are for new radiographers entering the workforce and those medical imaging colleagues who are switching from their usual areas of expertise and serving on the frontline during the pandemic.