Nursing their future: Buchan pupils sample career prospects

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TWO senior secondary school pupils from the Buchan area recently enjoyed a Nursing Summer School as the result of collaboration between NHS Grampian and the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Robert Gordon University.

Kristella Poole (17), who attends Mintlaw Academy, and Claire Burnett (17) from Peterhead Academy, joined 25 other fourth and fifth-year secondary school pupils from across Aberdeen City and Shire, and Moray, in a week-long programme designed as an educational experience to help interested school pupils make informed decisions about whether nursing is the right career choice for them.

The week culminated with an event for pupils on Friday, July 29, in which members of the public acted as volunteer patients so that pupils could undertake simulated nursing practice in the university’s own state-of-the-art Clinical Skills Centre.

During the programme, which has seen unprecedented demand, Kirstella, from Aulton of Coynach, and Claire, who lives in Longhaven, learned and practiced core nursing skills, gained an insight into student life, observed nursing work within real clinical settings and interacted with professionals and patients of NHS Grampian.

Earlier on in the week, pupils visited Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Woodend Hospital, Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital and Royal Cornhill Hospital.

Twenty-four school pupils, who could not secure a place on the fully-booked Summer School, participated in two ‘Nursing Taster Days’ at the university which took place on July 18 and 19, and included a presentation where pupils received certificates of attendance.

Across Scotland, recruitment to nursing programmes can be challenging and it is anticipated that the Summer School will engage young people who are making career choices by providing them with an experience of nurse education and practice which is realistic, informative and fun.

Professor Brian Webster, head of the School of Nursing and Midwifery explained: “The Summer School provides local teenagers and those from further afield, with the knowledge and experiences to help them make informed choices about their future career decisions. NHS Grampian and the university look to encourage those with the aspirations and potential to become health professionals in years to come.”

During the new school term, the university will be recruiting for next year’s Summer School. Anyone wishing to find out more should contact Margo Learmonth on (01224) 262635 or via email at m.learmonth@rgu.ac.uk.