29th Oct, 2020

Student nurses roll up their sleeves to help out at the Alex

Correspondent 13th May, 2020

TWO student nurses say they are keen to help as they join the NHS frontline at the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch.

Becky Shuck and Rosie Wilkinson, third year students at the University of Worcester, both began work at the hospital last week after opting in for a six-month paid placement.

They are two of the University of Worcester’s 200 student nurses who are joining the frontline at hospitals across the region.

And they’ve joined at a time when hospitals are facing ‘the greatest challenge the NHS has seen in its history’ says Matthew Hopkins, the chief executive of worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust.

“The reason I came into nursing was I wanted to make a difference,” said Becky, of Longbridge.

“I have been itching to get out there and provide care for people; that’s the most important thing for me.

“I’m scared and anxious, but I’m glad I can do something to help in this pandemic.”

Becky is now working on an acute medical ward, but said she would have volunteered even if it had been unpaid.

The 27-year-old student has until now been working as a healthcare assistant at the Alexandra Hospital.

Becky left school at 16 and became a beauty therapist. However, that all changed at 24, when a family member ended up in hospital and she witnessed the nursing care. She hopes to eventually to nurse people with cancer or work in palliative care.

Fellow student Rosie is on placement in A&E. “It’s an opportunity to help,” said the 27-year-old.

“When you see the people that are being properly affected by coronavirus, it’s heart-breaking.”

Rosie had been combining her studies with a healthcare assistant role at the Alex, the hospital where she was born.

“What I have realised is that this is a different kind of illness we’re dealing with,” she said.

“When you have got somebody who is young, otherwise physically fit, who is being prepared to go on a ventilator and you see the look in their eyes, that’s what sticks with me.

“You see the staff coming off the ward and taking their masks off and seeing how the pressure has affected their faces and how tiring the work is.”

Rosie had been working in London as an actress but returned to live with her parents to recover from surgery on her shoulder.

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