CWA students and the future generation of nurses, paramedics and carers are serving their local communities, working in key worker positions caring for residents and patients, while continuing full-time study.
Many students and alumni of the college, particularly from the Health & Social Care and Nursing and Paramedic courses are working at the QEH in a variety of different roles.
Caroline Shaw, Chief Executive of the QEH, said: “Many of our colleagues, past and present, have trained through our local college to further develop their careers and achieve their next step.
The courses have armed our colleagues with the transferable skills needed to support them throughout this pandemic. Deja John, who typically works in A&E and is undertaking a Nursing and Paramedic course, has been working as one of our amazing Healthcare Assistants throughout the pandemic.
Matthew Cooper, who completed a Level 3 Team Leader course in 2019, typically works in our Day Surgery Unit, has been exceptional through the outbreak, working shifts in Yellow ED, our coronavirus emergency department.
And finally, Amelia Howard, typically a Widening Participation Administrator who completed a Level 3 Business course in 2017, has been redeployed to Mandatory Training. We have employed a large number of colleagues to support our COVID-19 response, and Amelia and the Mandatory Training team have been working on ensuring staff are getting the correct training to start their roles.
Clinical, admin and support staff across the Trust have undertaken a variety of courses over the years to gain or develop skills and knowledge to improve their ability to undertake their role or move into a new one, opening up new opportunities for colleagues from apprentices to management. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for our colleagues currently undertaking courses with them.”
Level 3 Nursing and Paramedic student, Gemma Richardson, is completing her final year at college whilst working an average of 26 hours per week as a Care Assistant at Briar House Care Home, which is based in King’s Lynn and is home to around 50 patients with Dementia.
“Each shift is twelve hours and it is a long day, but I find my work extremely rewarding. At times it is hard to stay positive as we all struggle with not seeing our families and friends, but knowing that I am doing an important job, caring for individuals with Dementia who are not able to see their families at the moment, makes it feel like we are one big family.
I feel the current crisis has brought out a sense of community spirit in my team. We all trust one another and know that we are all doing the right thing. We are getting a lot of support and appreciation from the general public, which has brought the whole community together. When I finish work at 8pm on a Thursday, and hear and see all the people outside their houses clapping, it has been a real morale booster for us all.”
Natasha Longley is currently studying on the L3 Nursing and Paramedic course at the college, whilst working at Tesco. As part of her course she has completed a recent project on disease prevention, which she said is ‘particularly interesting and very relevant at this time.’
Many students are also working in care homes in the local area. Level 3 Health & Social Care student Chloe Dida is currently working as a Support Worker, undertaking home visits to support adults with disabilities and complex needs, and she is currently working forty hours per week.
Whilst Cerys Upson, a L3 first year Nursing & Paramedic student is working at Beech Lodge in Holbeach, a home that cares for around 36 residents with Dementia. She said:
“Each shift brings its own unique set of challenges, but I find the work extremely rewarding.”
First year Level 3 Nursing and Paramedic students Millie Hewitt and Lily Robinson, have teamed up and signed up to the CHD Living ‘adopt a grandparent’ global initiative. This focusses on pairing up residents with caring individuals in the community, who want to help combat loneliness with the aim of creating long-lasting inter-generational friendships. They can send letters, sending cheerful pictures, stories or poems, and can also video call so that they can have phone conversations with the resident they have been paired up with.
Principal David Pomfret said: “Many of our students are giving up their time to work or volunteer to help those in need in the community. I am extremely proud of the maturity, resilience and dedication they have shown, particularly over the past few months. They are making an invaluable contribution to our healthcare sector and I can’t wait to see their outstanding careers blossom in the future.”
Health & Social Care Lecturer, Hannah Mann, said: “We are extremely proud of our students, who have gone above and beyond to look after the people in their local communities. Not only this, but they are often juggling a full-time working week and completing their course work, which is testament to their hard-work at this time.”