Brave final year nursing students called to NHS frontline to help in fight against coronavirus

Nursing students in their final year at the University of Essesx will be starting paid placements in

Nursing students in their final year at the University of Essesx will be starting paid placements in hospitals around Essex this week. Picture: THINKSTOCK - Credit: Archant

Final year nursing students at the University of Essex are joining the NHS frontline earlier than expected after being called up to aid healthcare staff desperate for more help in the fight against coronavirus.

Sarah Lee is the head of Nursing at the University of Essex. Picture: STEVE O'CONNELL

Sarah Lee is the head of Nursing at the University of Essex. Picture: STEVE O'CONNELL - Credit: Archant

The ‘extended placement’ will see 50 students who have volunteered for the programme become paid clinical staff at hospitals across Essex where many will work in critical care and Covid-19 wards where resources are most needed.

Sarah Lee, head of nursing at the university, said: “We are so proud of our healthcare students for the way in which they have volunteered to support the NHS in this time of crisis.

“Some of our students aren’t currently able to contribute directly due to health conditions or family responsibilities, but their opportunity to contribute will come later and will be just as valuable.”

Volunteers have completed inductions at Colchester Hospital, Mid and South Essex University Hospitals in Southend, Basildon and Chelmsford, and will start their placements on the wards this week.

Third year Essex University nursing student Rosina Chapman has been shortlisted for the Adult Nursin

Third year Essex University nursing student Rosina Chapman has been shortlisted for the Adult Nursing Student of the Year Award in the Student Nursing Times Awards 2020. Picture: UNIVERSITY OF ESSEX - Credit: Archant

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Rosina Chapman is one of the brave adult nursing students to sign up, saying: “I came into nursing for the same reason as many – I want to help people.

“I know that I can use the skills I have developed over the past three years to help my colleagues in practise and, in turn, help people who have become unwell with the virus.”

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Miss Chapman, described as an ‘exceptional student’ who has been shortlisted for the Adult Student Nurse of the Year Award, will be working in the acute respiratory unit at Southend Hospital caring for Covid-19 patients.

“I am looking forward to helping, that’s what nursing is all about,” she added.

“Nothing makes me feel more privileged than having someone trust you with their care – it’s the best job in the world.”

Following the involvement from the student nursing team, more departments will be joining the fight in coming weeks including mental health students, postgraduate nursing students and allied health professionals.

Victoria Joffe, health and social care professor, said: “We have been working very closely with our Trust partners to ensure our students are placed in the most appropriate settings to maximise their contribution and learning opportunities.

“I am grateful for the collaboration, commitment and hard work of staff, students and our NHS partners in making this happen.”

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