Trust provides additional learning support to students | Latest news

Trust provides additional learning support to students

A student support group at The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust is ensuring student health visitors are adequately prepared for qualification.

The group, which meets monthly, has been created by Practice Educator, Health Visitor and Queen’s Nurse Pamela Shaw and Practice Educator and Nurse Teacher Paula Elliott. It has received full marks in feedback from the 80 plus students who have benefitted from the support and education provided in the five years it has been running.

“The training that our students are undertaking to become Specialist Community Public Health Nurses (SCPHN) in health visiting is very intense and stressful,” said Pamela, “and we often find that students work with their Practice Educators in isolation from one another, so we created the group to give students additional support and a community of learning.

“The group gives students the opportunity to share best practice, consolidate their learning and gain insights from qualified experts.”

Service evaluation, undertaken by Paula through focus groups, has confirmed the support group met the intended aims, with students reporting that their attendance and the support they received helped them to adjust to the course demands.

They found the groups helpful in increasing their resilience and motivation, praising both the teaching and educational elements as well as their capacity to promote reflective practice for personal, professional and service development.

Registered midwife, Ashley Appleyard is training to be a health visitor and has attended the group for the last 10 months, she said: “I’ve found the group extremely beneficial, it has helped to add further substance to the theory and skills I am learning. I enjoy the guest speakers that Pamela arranges, as they help to throw another perspective on a topic and can often open up debate amongst us, which all add to the learning experience.”

The varied role of a health visitor is an integral part of the NHS Community Health Service with the main focus of their work being to help people stay healthy and avoid illness. All health visitors are a qualified registered nurse, midwife, sick children’s nurse or psychiatric nurse with specialist qualifications in community health.

As they visit people in their homes, they need to be knowledgeable, confident and respectful of the community they serve. It can be a very demanding, often stressful role requiring intense and thorough training.

Midwife Kelly Lee has been attending the group for the past 10 month, she said: “I’ve found the student support group extremely beneficial in regards to enhancing my learning over the past year.

“The Practice Educators who run the group are dedicated, and focused on making the students’ experience a positive one. Without the group I would not have been exposed to many of the learning opportunities that I have, these groups have been a fantastic addition to the training I have received from the Trust so far. It has been invaluable in preparing us for qualification and becoming autonomous practitioners within health visiting.”