UCLan medical students join frontline battle against Coronavirus

Preston’s first group of soon-to-qualify new doctors and nurses have responded to a rallying call to help the NHS.

Thursday, 2nd April 2020, 5:00 pm
Students doctors and nurses at UCLan have rallied to help on the frontline

Around 20 final year medical students and more than 300 final year nursing students could soon be working on the frontline.

They are waiting for the details and special permissions be finalised but it could see medical students carrying out a wide range of foundation doctor level clinical duties from assessing and referring patients to prescribing medication.

They have completed all these duties during thousands of hours of clinical training. But, they will not make the final decision on health matters and will be supervised and supported throughout.

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The nurses are likely to be utilised on a variety of tasks including taking blood, dressing wounds, inserting cannulas and catheters, giving injections, taking patients for scans and swabbing patients for vital Covid-19 tests.

One student, Aaron Hoban from Chorley, is in the final months of his three-year BSc (Hons) Pre-registration Adult Nursing degree.

The 29-year-old 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.”

Aaron, who has undertaken 2,300 hours of clinical placements, will be working for Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust at either Royal Preston Hospital or Chorley Hospital.

He added: "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."

Specialist members of UCLan staff have also volunteered their services to clinical, laboratory or pharmacy settings within the NHS.

These include microbiologists, pharmacists, molecular biologists, doctors in emergency medicine and physician associates.

The university has also said staff unable to work from home can volunteer their services.