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International Student Nurse Exchange Programme

international-studentA care home in North London is leading the way in student nurse development, having just welcomed its second set of international students, as part of a new programme to work further with ADC College, a London-based organisation that coordinates work experience and Teacher Development Programmes for European schools.

Coplands Nursing Home in Wembley has spent the last four months working with Dutch student nurses Joline Black and Marlous Oosterveen, where they have shadowed senior nursing staff and carers at the home, whilst completing assignments for their course back in Holland.

Home Manager Sibyl Wright says; “We feel incredibly lucky to have been asked to work with ADC College and we have thoroughly enjoyed and benefitted from the first two exchanges. The student nurses are so eager and keen to learn, and they bring such a positive energy to the home. The staff, our residents and their families, all felt it and commented on it.

“This is a great opportunity for student nurses in training, as care homes have residents with all sorts of different health conditions and complexities. They have received a much broader experience here, as we are constantly researching, reading and reviewing health care needs, and finding new ways to apply these to support and enhance our residents’ care.”

Sibyl and her Deputy Manager, Payal Chaabra, highlighted how the student nurses had motivated the home’s existing staff with their presence, enabling the development of their teaching and mentoring skills. And this in turn has been to the benefit of the residents, who receive more attention and individual time with the carers and nurses.

“We are constantly striving to better ourselves and improve what we are doing.” Says Sibyl, “Our visiting student nurses tell us that we have a very high standard of care here in the UK and this gives us a great deal of pride.”

The 79-bed Coplands Nursing Home began working with ADC College this year and has now created a more formal working partnership, where they hope to welcome a regular flow of student nurses each year into work placements. The college highlights that these opportunities, funded by Erasmus+* are a great experience for students to not only improve their English and experience London, but to broaden their learning in their field of study.

Lorraine Lee, Director of Nursing at Orchard Care Homes, says; “In my 40 years in nursing, I have not come across this sort of arrangement whereby the private sector care provider and an international student nurse body are working in partnership to support the learning and professional development of student nurses. Working in such a busy environment, it’s incredibly impressive that Sibyl and her team have taken the initiative to embrace the opportunity.

“The home has been working with UK universities for over five years, supporting trainee doctors and nurses from the local Brent hospitals, and they are extending their hospitality to include international partnerships, which is exciting.”

Sibyl, who trained as a nurse in 1977, when Florence Nightingale capes were part of a nurse’s formal uniform, is a staunch supporter of hands-on training, in addition to seeing the greater benefits of her own staff’s development, as well as the positive wave of energy felt by the home’s residents and their relatives and carers.

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