Hundreds of final year nursing and medical students at Preston’s university are heading to the front-line in the fight against coronavirus.Advertisement
The University of Central Lancashire says the students are to finish their studies early and head into Royal Preston Hospital and Chorley Hospital.
It follows the appeal from the government for assistance to help the NHS cope with the Covid-19 pandemic.
More than 300 student nurses would help take blood, dress wounds, insert cannulas and catheters, give injections and swab patients for vital coronavirus tests.
Medical students would be able to assess and refer patients, as well as prescribe medication.
One of those joining Lancashire Teaching Hospitals staffing ranks will be Aaron Hoban.
Read more: Lack of PPE kit claims at Royal Preston Hospital from nurses and staff
The 29-year-old from Chorley is in the final six months of his adult nursing degree.
He said: “I’m feeling very excited and I feel up to the challenge of helping out at such an unprecedented time. I’ve trained for this, this is my job and now it’s my time to step up and do what I can to help treat people in a time of crisis.
“The aim is simple, we can do some of the more basic nursing jobs and free up more senior staff to help cope with the huge demand. This is not how any us expected our final months of being a student would go. There are feelings of anxiety but we’ve had great support from our lectures at UCLan, from the Royal College of Nursing, the Nursing and Midwifery Council and we know there’ll be support on the wards from the Trust. We’re all in this together and we’ve just got to get through this.”
Aaron has already completed 2,300 hours of clinical placements before starting with the NHS.
Bolstering the doctor ranks at Royal Preston Hospital is Usama Al Siyabi.
The 22-year-old, who came to study at UCLan from Oman, is in the final motnhs of a five-year medical degree to become a doctor.
He said: “It’s an overwhelming time to be practising medicine but me and my colleagues have said it feels such an honour and privilege to be able to contribute. There is an anxious feeling because we don’t know what to expect as the situation develops but we’ve been shadowing foundation level doctors for a while and we know there’s going to be a lot of support available to us.”
Read more: Thousands of people sign petition calling on UCLan to protect student’s grades during coronavirus pandemic
The university confirmed it is discussions about physiotheraphy and paramedic students also being called up to help the NHS.
A number of UCLan staff with experience in clinical, lab or pharmacy settings within the NHS have also volunteered to help in the efforts to battle coronavirus.
Lancashire has so far seen 1,026 confirmed cases of coronavirus recorded and 24 people have died at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals hospitals from coronavirus.
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Are you one of the students heading into the world of NHS work early? How do you feel? Let us know in the comments below