Buchan pupils get to grips with nursing

Hands-on: Lauren enjoyed seeing how the different wards operate.
Hands-on: Lauren enjoyed seeing how the different wards operate.

A PAIR of north-east senior secondary school pupils recently gained a unique insight into the nursing profession as a result of collaboration between NHS Grampian and the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Robert Gordon University.

Lauren Gibb (17) from Peterhead Academy and Sarah Elphinstone (16) from Mintlaw Academy joined a group of 12 fourth and fifth-year pupils from across Scotland to attend a week-long Autumn Nursing School from 14 to 21 October which was designed to help interested school pupils make informed decisions about nursing as a career choice.

Nursing Career: Sarah wants to help people in her future career.

Nursing Career: Sarah wants to help people in her future career.

During the programme the pupils learned and practised 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.

Initially, the pupils visited Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Woodend Hospital, Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital and Royal Cornhill Hospital. Specific activities included conversations with service users and scrubbing up in a real surgical theatre.

The week culminated with a mock ward exercise on Friday October 21 in which members of the public acted as volunteer patients so that the pupils could undertake simulated nursing practice in the university’s own state-of-the-art Clinical Skills Centre.

Lauren, who lives at Coral Gardens, Peterhead, commented: “I really enjoyed the experience to learn about the different types of nursing jobs that are out there. A particular highlight for me was going to Cornhill Hospital, meeting the patients and seeing firsthand how the wards operate.”

Sarah, from New Pitsligo, added: “As well as the ward tours we did, it was really useful to learn basic tasks like taking blood pressure. It’s now confirmed in my mind that nursing is the right job for me. Caring and looking after people really appeals to me as does knowing that you can do something to help.”

Professor Brian Webster, Head of the School of Nursing and Midwifery stated: “We hugely enjoyed hosting this bright group of students who showed a keen interest in the week-long experience. Across Scotland, recruitment to nursing programmes can be challenging. The nursing schools engage young people at a crucial point in their lives by providing them with an experience of nursing education and practice which is realistic, informative and fun.

“The aim is to arm them with the knowledge and experiences they need to make informed choices about their future career. NHS Grampian and the university look to encourage those with the aspirations and potential to become health professionals in years to come.”

The university is already 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.