Student Nurses Passionate About Joining Local Fight Against Coronavirus

May 12, 2020

For student nurses, there could not be a more challenging and historically significant time to be joining the NHS.

Over the last couple of weeks 68 student nurses from across North Lancashire and South Cumbria have joined University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT).

All of the student nurses say they are passionate about the NHS and want to support the Trust’s coronavirus (COVID-19) response. Their enthusiasm and energy is bringing a very welcome injection of positivity to the Trust.

Charlotte Walters, (pictured left), from Morecambe, who has been studying at the University of Chester, is now working on placement in the Emergency Department (ED) at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary.

Charlotte was inspired to train to become a nurse after working as a receptionist in a GP surgery and did an access course at Lancaster and Morecambe College. She knew she wanted to get a job at the RLI because she had always found the staff at the RLI to be “caring, compassionate and incredibly helpful”.

Charlotte said: “At first I felt very uneasy and lacked confidence as the situation with coronavirus brought a lot of uncertainty. After my first week at the RLI Emergency Department I felt very welcomed by all the staff. I have built up my confidence and learned to adapt to daily changes. All the staff have been so welcoming and I look forward to learning so much more. The Trust have been fantastic with communicating updates as this is a new situation for them to adapt to and I feel they have done an amazing job at getting us into practice very swiftly.”

Charlotte clearly has a natural empathy with her patients: “During this time many patients cannot have their loved ones with them so providing reassurance is key. Hospitals can make people feel vulnerable and if I can help them feel at ease, this can set the foundations for a positive patient/nurse relationship.” She said fellow students at the Trust had encouraged and motivated each other: “This is lovely as we all feel united during this unprecedented time. I think that everyone from admin through to clinical is doing a fantastic job at keeping the NHS running through these uncertain times and they should all feel a sense of achievement and be proud to work under the NHS as a team.

“My hopes for the future are to learn as much as I can, expand my skill set and consistently provide a high standard of care to all. Once I have gained five to six years of experience, I aim to go back into education to gain extra qualifications to become an Advanced Practitioner and feel this is the best place to start.”

Alison Butler, (pictured right) from Morecambe, who has been studying Nursing at the University of Cumbria and is now working on placement on the Children’s Ward at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary, said she feels privileged to be joining the Trust.

Alison said: “Initially I was very apprehensive and not sure what to expect but I felt it was the right thing to do. I feel privileged to have been given this opportunity and very well supported by my colleagues. I recognise the importance of good team morale and have witnessed this throughout the whole hospital. I wanted to work here because the Trust is close to my home and I wish to work in as a paediatric staff nurse once qualified. The team are all very friendly, supportive and offer an excellent, dedicated service to their patients. I have benefitted from the knowledge and skills of experienced staff and have endeavoured to use these skills and knowledge to develop as a student nurse. My family and friends are very proud of my achievements so far. Without their incredible support, I would not have got to where I am now. I feel very lucky to have an amazing network of people around me.”

Alison’s hopes for the future are to continually develop her skills and knowledge to enable her to be the best children’s nurse she can be.

She added: “To everyone working in the NHS at the moment, I’d like to say a big ‘thank you’. You are all amazing!”