Bradford Uni celebrates nurses

On International Nurses Day 2020 (May 12), the University of Bradford celebrates the role of nurses and its ongoing contribution to providing high quality teaching for healthcare professionals.

At a time when the spotlight seems ever on healthcare, it is a measure of the quality of teaching at the University of Bradford’s Faculty of Health Studies that 98 per cent of those who graduate go on to find paid employment within six months.

Ruth Girdham, Head of School of Nursing & Healthcare, says the university has a reputation ‘second to none’ in the local area, with strong links to Bradford Teaching Hospital Foundation Trust, Bradford District Care Trust, Airedale NHS Foundation Trust and Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust.

“We take around 250 students a year, plus another 30 at a teaching site at Dewsbury District Hospital (part of the Mid-Yorkshire NHS Trust) and 98 per cent of our students end up working within six months of qualifying, the majority in local practice. These include adult nurses, mental health nurses and childrens’ nurses.

“We cater for a massive geographical area. We have a lot of feedback from partner trusts to say our graduates are well prepared and very much wanted in the clinical areas where they work.”

In the last few weeks, more than 400 2nd and 3rd year students have taken up roles in frontline care as part of the university’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hannah Midgley, in the second year of a Child Nursing degree, is one of them, having begun work at the neonatal unit at Bradford Royal Infirmary at the end of April.

She said: “I chose to study at Bradford because it had a good reputation for its nursing degree and for the learning opportunities it offers. It has such a good reputation and the learning opportunities you can get are significant compared to other areas.

“I am now working two to three days a week. The support from lecturers has been brilliant. They are holding forums twice a week, so to know they are contactable even though we are not at university is very comforting.”

Underpinning the professionalism they bring to the NHS are a dedicated team of highly qualified teaching staff, many of whom have gone back into the NHS to train other healthcare professionals.

Dominic Egan works in the Faculty of Health Studies and is one of those given permission by the university to offer crucial training to NHS staff at the Nightingale Hospital Yorkshire and the Humber in Harrogate. Together with colleagues , Alexandra Roberts and Claire Sutton, he has helped train over 400 staff in the last three weeks, including senior doctors and nurses.

“Our involvement, alongside other regional and national senior academics and clinicians, shows the credibility the University of Bradford has. Students coming here gain a range of experiences, from working in the inner city to small towns and communities and the rural landscape, extending from the city centre to the Yorkshire Dales and everything else that lies between. The breath of clinical experience is possibly second to none.”

Vice Chancellor Shirley Congdon said: “The University of Bradford plays a significant role in educating the nursing and health care workforce to deliver high quality compassionate care and deliver applied health care research that improves the health outcomes for our region driving economic and social growth.”

The University of Bradford has already deployed more than 400 2nd and 3rd year nursing, paramedic and midwifery students into frontline care as part of it’s Covid-19 response, redesigned NHS IT services and donated thousands of pieces of PPE to hospitals and care homes.

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