Nurses lead coronavirus fight

More than 500 nurses from GCU step up to support COVID-19 crisis

Tue, 07 Apr 2020 15:12:00 BST
Professor Jacqueline McCallum.
Professor Jacqueline McCallum.

More than 500 student nurses from Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) have today joined the NHS Scotland’s national emergency response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The third-year students have begun their inductions with health boards across Scotland to prepare them for working on the frontline helping to save the lives of patients struck down by te deadly virus.

They are now working in paid placement in hospitals across the country including NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Golden Jubilee National Hospital, NHS Dumfries and Galloway and NHS Ayrshire and Arran under the supportive wing of the University.

Professor Jacqueline McCallum, Head of GCU’s Department of Nursing and Community Health, said: “We are incredibly proud of all our 500-plus third-year students who have started their paid placements with the NHS at this critical time. As the University for the Common Good, we want to do everything we can to support the country’s response to the current crisis.

“The students are well prepared, having developed their skills and knowledge by assessing and caring for a wide range of patients, including those whose conditions have been deteriorating. The clinical skills that the students have been developing are highly relevant to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

“In their studies, students have been introduced to a range of different patient scenarios, assessing and demonstrating how they would care for their patients in our state-of-the-art simulation centre. This has

allowed them to gain hands-on practise and feedback from their nursing lecturers to further improve their skills.

“Since our recent move to online learning, students, with the support from the nursing lecturers, have been able to continue their studies with the use of a range online scenarios.

“Although they are working for the NHS, they remain our students and we are thinking of them. Their personal tutors are still there to support them if they are struggling or need help. We are still here for them. We are also mindful of the handful of students who for one reason or another were not able to opt in and we are here for them too. It must have been a difficult decision to make.”

The Department of Nursing and Community Health is one of the largest providers of Pre-Registration Nursing Education in Scotland and brings together academic and clinical staff

Natalie Elliott, from the GCU Nursing Society, said: “GCU has provided students with factual and concise information as soon as it’s been made available. They have also actively sought out students’ concerns and have tried to answer them as best they can - but only with facts and not with speculation. It has been clear that staff have been working incredibly hard to ensure that students are not disadvantaged at this time, but also ensuring that our education is in no way impacted, allowing us to flourish as future nurses of the NHS.”