UON’s mini ‘health army’ welcomes new and returning recruits

Date 24.02.2021

Nursing students currently in the final year of their degrees have followed their 2020 peers by opting to provide extra help in hospitals during the pandemic.

124 students from all four nursing fields at the University of Northampton have ‘signed up’ to support NHS staff at partner hospitals across the region, providing extra people hours on the wards.

The students are placed anywhere their services are needed, providing vital help either in COVID specific units or elsewhere in hospitals.

Last year, a total of 272 students from Nursing, Midwifery and Occupational Therapy opted in for extended clinical placements, meaning more people hours in the NHS.

The new total includes some of those 2020 students who have decided to opt-in again.

Dr Fiona Barchard, Senior Lecturer in Adult Nursing, said: “Deciding whether to opt-in or not for an extended clinical placement has not been an easy one for students to make. Just like last year, each one has had to weigh up multiple considerations, whether academic, professional or personal. So firstly, the nursing team and I would like to take our hats off to all of them after going through a difficult process, whatever outcome they arrived at.

“Even though light is at the end of tunnel, it is still very perceptibly at a distance, so we are more than happy to help our health service partners with as much support as possible with our new, mini-army of nursing students.”

UON health students are just part of the ‘army’ of students on placements across Northamptonshire and beyond.

65 undergraduate Initial Teacher Training (ITT) students and 42 postgraduate ITT students are making their impact felt across the region, ensuring that a quality learning experience continues for schoolchildren and meeting the challenges lockdown has thrown at them.