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MMU Trainee Nurse Associate Claire Barnes talks about the programme and being a student at MMU

Claire has worked at The Christie NHS Foundation Trust since 2015. Prior to working in healthcare, Claire held experience in banking and customer service. After her mother had been cared for as a terminally ill patient at The Christie, she applied to work as a Clerical officer in the hospital. Claire quickly realised she had a desire to provide a more hands-on approach to patient care leading her to join the nursing team as a Healthcare Assistant. She was encouraged to apply as one of the Trainee Nursing Associates when the opportunity arose. Claire Joined the Trainee Nursing Associate Programme in January 2017 and is one of the first wave of cohorts in the Northwest.


Applying to be part of the Trainee Nursing Associate (TNA) programme was an amazing opportunity and I was encouraged to apply by one of my unit Staff Nurses. Out of nearly 1,700 applicants, 240 were appointed. I am one of 9 from my trust. Flicking through all the information I had been provided on the course and our work placements it was easy to see this was a structured and well supported programme. MMU had provided us information on things we would need to know such as Harvard Referencing, study skills, the Library and personal tutors but they missed out one vital part – How to deal with a reduction in the mum cool factor! I am officially an embarrassment to my teen since discovering it is not acceptable to take him shopping and ask him to hold up bags whilst I measured if my folder would fit inside for uni. We did however persevere and I am the proud owner of not only a shiny bag, but a wealth of stationary to scribble notes with!


The programme allocates us 4 days in placement and one day at University a week. This is a great balance which allows us to apply the knowledge we learn at MMU to practice in the workplace along with developing our growing base of clinical skills. If you asked me on the day we study Anatomy and Physiology, I can guarantee I would tell you 2 years non-stop would not be enough time to make my non-spongey brain absorb the informationAs always, things always seem a bit more daunting than they actually are. It’s great to know we have a safety net in place which comes in the form of the university tutors who we are welcome to email at any time for help and advice. 


Our introduction day to Manchester Met was a blur, there was so much information and so many people I struggled to remember who did what. Once I got over my midlife crisis on the first official day, (mingling with the young folks made me feel old) University life has been a pleasant surprise. The course information, study topics and weekly reading can be found online via Moodle. I do sometimes worry if the lecturers really can see what time we log on and if they can, what do they make of my midnight reading sessions? From commuting to studying, time management and planning has been my savior and is an essential key in a course that entails both work and study. My first milestone achievement was managing to get on the correct bus and remember to get off at the right stop (this took about 6 weeks and up until then my bus buddy Lauren had to supervise me). The university lecturers are fantastic and manage to somehow make even the most tiresome of topics (Sorry Manual Handling!) enjoyable. From Anatomy & Physiology to Evidence Based practice we are both well prepared andsupported throughout. Both Moodle and your tutors are only a click away and I look forward to Wednesdays which is our allocated Uni day.


In the workplace, Hobnob Heroes is my new nickname for the Trainee Nursing Associates, not only because our uniform is a fetching colour of biscuit (also known as camouflage cardboard) but because we are the hard-core dunking biscuits… persistent and refuse to crumble under pressure. People have started to notice us, ask questions about our new role – Who are we? What can we do? I think this is one of the biggest challenges for the TNA cohorts in the workplace, to be recognized in the role and for people to understand what part we will play in the nursing team. 


My first placement has been at the Endocrine Department which deals with both blood transfusion and Endocrine patients. We conduct a variety of day case tests and is a fantastic learning opportunity for my specialist area. I have managed to not only expand my base of clinical skills (this was needed to allow me to take part in some of the tests we carry out on the unit) but I am starting to build a knowledge about why the tests are carried out and the treatment paths once an illness has been identified. There have been challenges on the way and mine ironically came in the form of cannulation. I am a vampire by trade (phlebotomist) however transferring my phlebotomy skills over to cannulation proved difficult as I couldn’t quite get my head round the ‘wiggly wire’ part to the cannula. Our clinical skills team however is amazing and with the support of Marion I’m proud to say I can now cannulate like a trooper! 


The programme really is the full package and is not for the faint hearted. It requires hard work, precise time management, positivity (We are after all guinea pigs) and an acceptance that our programme is somewhat fluid changing as it is developed, but that is what makes it exciting! It will be worth it though, in 2 years not only will we be the proud owners of a degree but we will have opened the door to a new career path which will take us anywhere we want to go! 


Claire will keep us informed of her progress during the programme. So watch out for the next instalment.


    

  

 

MMU Department of Nursing Success at Student Nursing Times Awards 2017

Staff and students from the Department of Nursing travelled to London yesterday to attend the Student Nursing Times Awards at the Hilton Park Lane. Liz Spencer a post registration student had been nominated for best post reg student and we sponsored the award of best adult student. 

The event was well attended as ever with a number of universities both sponsoring awards and being nominated in the various categories. There was an inspirational welcome address by Dame Elizabeth Anionwu who is the Emeritus Professor of Nursing at the University of West London and is a champion for sickle cell and thalasaema.

The winner of the best adult student went to Sophie Cameron from Stirling Unuversity and we were thrilled to present her with the award. She demonstrated exceptional compassion for the patients she cared for during her training and as one of the judges we felt she was absolutely the best nominee.

MMU also won the partnership award for their partnership with Stockport Metropolitan Council and Stockport Foundation Trust which was a lovely surprise and well deserved for Stockport Trust especially.

Liz Spencer was then named best post registration student and the whole team were delighted to be with her when she received the award. A few glasses of champagne were sampled in celebration and the day was its usual  mix of emotion, excitement and cheer.

We would like to congratulate all of the winners and we are looking forward to the awards next year where we hope for continued success. 

 

Before the celebrations the whole team!
  
Staff and students
  
Liz with her award

   

  

  

MMU Department of Nursing welcomes the first cohort of Nursing Associates

On Wednesday the 18th January Greater Manchester launched their Nursing Associate programme. The Trainee nurse associates will be starting the programme on the 30th January and will be based at a range of Trusts across the area. MMU is working in partnership with University of Salford and Bolton to deliver the academic element of the Foundation Degree. Students will be supported in practice by specially recruited practice educators. The programme is a pilot and has been designed to facilitate access to a shortened pre registration nursing programme for those who wish to progress to become a registered nurse and have the necessary additional pre entry qualifications.

The students who are going to be attending MMU were given the opportunity to introduce themselves and identify what they are looking forward to most whilst meeting the team who are going to support them in their studies and finding out about the course. The enthusiasm in the room was infectious and it was clear they are all excited about this unique opportunity to take part in what could herald a major change in nursing. 

Nursing associates will work under the direction of registered nurses and contribute to the delivery of safe and effective care for patients. The pilot funded by Health Education England will be evaluated to identify its contribution to care and shape the future scope of practice of NAs. 

We will follow their progress wth interest and are looking forward to the opportunity to support students to achieve success. Wishing them all good luck.

The MMU team talking about the course to the excited students and staff.

   
    

Showcasing MMU Pre Reg Nurses Promoting Health Pledge by Jacqui Gladwin

i was lucky enough to be invited to speak at the People Drive Digital Conference at the Open Data Institute in Leeds today http://wearemhabitat.com/events/people-drive-digital/#1480063876233-b7269102-31c3

There were a number of speakers all who have experience of co creation of digital resources to support people in relation to positively influencing their health. I presented our collaboration with Thornley House Medical Centre Patient Group and our support for Health Pledge http://www.healthpledge.co.uk

We had the opportunity to network and discuss issues with like minded people and the response to our community engagement initiative was amazing. 

The speakers were lucky enough to have their presentations captured as cartoons and I was quite impressed with mine. 

It was great to meet such a wide range of people so committed to using technology sensibly and to empower people to be more informed. As nurses we need to support our communities to embrace technology even simple ones to improve their health and well being.

  
   

MMU Student Nurses undertake health checks for the local community

Staff and students from MMU Department of Nursing have been promoting self care week in Hyde. Supported by Thornley House Medical Centre Patient Group they carried out over two hundred health checks to shoppers and staff in Morrisons this week. Students have limited opportunities for community experience at a time when health services need to be focused in the community rather than the acute sector so this is a great opportunity for students to develop their confidence and skills in both communication  and health promotion.mWe talked to many people about their health worries and gave advice where required. The team were promoting health pledge which is designed to encourage people to make a pledge to make a small change to their life which could make a big impact on their health and well being. 

We would like to thank Simon  Toft the manager at Morrisons for supporting this initiative again this year and we look forward to next year. 

   

Dementia Awareness week at MMU

The Department of Nursing is hosting a range of events this week arranged by Anne-Marie Borneuf in her role as Dementia Champion. Events include workshops, dementia friends sessions and guest lectures aiming to raise very ones awareness of denmentia. The Departmenta will host a dementia cafe on Wednesday afternoon when staff and students will offer activities for people with dementia and their carers or family. The Department is committed to both raising awareness of dementia within the community and ensuring staff and students are equipped with the knowledge and skills to support individuals affected and their carers.

Further information on Dementai can be found at: Alzheimer’s Society
  

Student Nursing Times Awards 2016: MMU Nursing on Tour!

Staff, students, practice colleagues, friends and service users attended the prestigious Student Nursing Times Awards yesterday at the Park Lane Hilton in London. Up for Best Pre Reg provider and Best Adult Student (Christopher Walker) we were all excited to get there. Unfortunately we didn’t win this year but we would like to say well done to all the winners. It was a fabulous day which really celebrates the best of Nurse Education. We would like to thank everyone who made the day such a great experience and supported us in our nominations. Great to be finalists again!

We weren’t entirely without success as we did win the Virgin Train quiz on the way to London and thanks to Darren the train manager for his great service and goodie bag! We will be planning ahead for next year and look forward to doing it all again. 

  

   
 

MMU Department of Nursing Does it Again! 

MMU has made it to the final of the 2016 Student Nursing Times Awards for Best Provider (pre-reg) for the fourth time. The team are so proud of their achievement and the support of their students. The winners will be announced on the 28th April. Staff and students will attend the ceremony in April. The no,I nation is one of two in the final Chris Walker (March 13 Cohort) has also made it to the final for Best a Adult Student. 

We all look forward to the awards and hope we can build on our previous success. The team would like to wish all the finalists good luck.

  

MMU Department of Nursing Student Shares her Experience of a Children’s Hopsice: Jessica Slater

Jessica Slater a March 14 Adult Nursing Degree Student recently wrote a poem inspired by her experience on an elective placement in a local children’s hospice. Her presentation on this experience was well received and she shares her thoughts here.

Jessica says my experience was, that we provided true holistic care shaped by emotional, spiritual, social and physical needs of children and young adults. We spent two hours talking through care plans so personal centre care could be delivered, leaving people with the feeling of involvement, belonging and This resulted in strong professional relationships being establishex. Children received respite, palliative and end of life care and family’s received bereavement and sibling support. I realised that a children’s hospice is a place to live not just a  place to die. I fully enjoyed my experience here, playing and caring for children until the very end and beyond. I wrote a poem to support my presentation inspired by my experiences there.


A global perspective – children’s hospice

They get told they won’t grow old,
They don’t know what the future holds.

By their sides are family and friends,
And nurses who care and support them until the very end. 

The child’s mind goes dark and sees no light, 
Nurses step in and heed the plight to laugh and cry. 

We provide holistic and personal-centred care, 
We’re not just on wards, we’re everywhere.