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“I’m proud and nervous to be on the frontline” – student nurse Hannah on her hospital call-up

Date 29.04.2020

A University of Northampton student nurse has spoken of the pride she feels after answering the Government’s call to join the NHS’s fight against coronavirus.

Hannah Shaw is one of 222 Nursing students from the University who have opted to step aside from academic study and provide more hours on the wards supporting healthcare professionals.

She began her clinical extended placement at Milton Keynes University Hospital on Monday, and spoke about the welcome she and her fellow students have received from NHS workers.

“We were welcomed warmly by all the hospital staff on the wards, who were really happy to see us,” said Hannah, who is from Sandown, Isle of Wight.

“I’ve been feeling a 50-50 mix of excitement and nervousness. It’s an unknown situation as there are healthcare staff who have come down with the virus and staff across the country that have died from it, so it is a little bit daunting.

“But, as a team, we are well protected, and the staff are all very hot on what PPE you need for different situations.”

Hannah added: “My family is definitely proud of me, but also nervous because I am on the frontline, exposing myself to the virus more than I would have done if I was staying at home.

“The University is also so proud of us all, whether we opted in or out of a placement. There’s a real sense of pride and a feeling of togetherness, which is a nice thing to have come out of this situation.”

You can hear Hannah talk about her placement in an interview with BBC Radio Northampton’s John Griff (starts 1h 15m).

The total number of UON health students supporting the NHS stands at 272, with 39 Midwifery and 11 Occupational Therapy joining the 222 Nursing students on the frontline.

Many have accepted placements in Northamptonshire but those based outside of the county have asked to be deployed in locations such as Lincolnshire, London and Somerset.

Dr Jacob Saranga, Dean of the Faculty of Health, Education and Society, said: “Opting in or out of a placement was a monumental decision for each one of our students, involving deep consideration of the implications for their individual circumstances.

“Whatever decision they made, I have full admiration for their remarkable response to this ever-evolving situation, our academic teams for their unstinting support as well as our placements team.”