Hands on experience

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Senior secondary school pupils from across Scotland enjoyed a Nursing Summer School as the result of collaboration between NHS Grampian and the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Robert Gordon University.

Twenty-four fourth and fifth-year secondary pupils from across Aberdeen City and Shire, Moray, Orkney and the Highlands are took part in a week-long programme which was designed as an educational experience to help interested school pupils make informed decisions about whether nursing is the right career choice for them.

Among them were Emily Blacklaws (17) and Bethany Smith (16) from Portlethen Academy.

During the week, which ran from July 20 to 27, pupils learned and practised core nursing skills, gaining an insight into student life, observing nursing work within real clinical settings and interacting with professionals and patients of NHS Grampian.

This included visits to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Woodend Hospital, Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital and Royal Cornhill Hospital.

The week culminated with an event on Friday during which members of the public acted as volunteer patients so that pupils could undertake simulated nursing practice in the University’s own state-of-the-art Clinical Skills Centre.

Those who could not secure a place on the fully-booked Summer School were able to attend one of the Nursing Taster Days, also held at the University on Monday 16 and Tuesday 17 July. Eighteen pupils from Aberdeen City and Shire, Moray and West Lothian attended the days, which included a presentation where pupils received certificates of attendance.

The Summer School and taster days have been designed to engage with young people who are making career choices by providing them with an experience of nurse education and practice which is realistic, informative and fun. This theme is also at the core of an Autumn nursing school which is set to be hosted by the university in October.

Professor Brian Webster, Head of the School of Nursing and Midwifery explained: “The Summer School provides local teenagers and those from further afield, with the knowledge and experiences to help them make informed choices about their future career decisions. NHS Grampian and the University look to encourage those with the aspirations and potential to become health professionals in years to come.”

During the new school term, the University will be recruiting for next year’s Summer School. Anyone wishing to find out more should contact Margo Learmonth on 01224 262635 or via email at m.learmonth@rgu.ac.uk.