Major skills and extra learning when ‘Waterside General’ reopened

Member News

University of
Northampton’s (UON) ‘pop-up’ training environment ‘Waterside General’ reopened
its doors last week as Nursing students dealt with a hospital reaching crisis.

The Nursing
team hosted Major Incident workshops that immersed final-year students in ‘as
real as possible’ incidents following an imaginary bus crash.

Alarms were
ringing, and disoriented patients and family members needed to be calmed at
‘Waterside General’ (the Nursing and Midwifery teaching spaces at Waterside
campus) during the activity that brought together many of the skills the
students will have learnt over the past three years.

The students
worked as a team treating five patients, either life-like training mannequins
or played by their peers, lecturers or UON’s Hair, Make-Up and Prosthetics for
the Stage and Screen students (this new degree also provided some lifelike

together, they identified who they would look after and what care they needed,
preparing them for their final clinical placements and when they graduate.

Skills they
used included prioritising care, allocating staff, communication skills such as
breaking bad news, as well as making sure the care of their patients was their
primary concern.

Gemma Farr is
one of the students who took part. She said: “The major incident day was really
interactive and very realistic. As student nurses it enabled us to understand a
lot about the processes and considerations to be made about emergency
situations and how we need to be able to prioritise and delegate. They were
daunting at first, but very enjoyable as we got going and we all agreed we
learnt a lot by the end.”

Fellow student
Sharon Macdonald added: “While doing this simulation, I felt it was a ‘coming
together’ of the skills I have learned since commencing the Nursing degree.
Whilst I still have some way to go, I found that I was able to overcome my
nerves and treat and talk to patients, relatives and colleagues professionally
whilst under pressure.”

This is the
first time the Nursing team has held the Major Incident sessions, and it’s been
so successful it will be repeated for future, final-year students across all
four degrees and the Nursing Associates programme.

Shev O’Brien –
Senior Lecturer in Adult Nursing at the University of Northampton – was one of
the team behind developing the Major Incident training and sums up how the week
went: “To make the scenario as real as possible for our students, we threw in
quite a few extra surprises along the way. It’s a testament to their knowledge,
skills and professionalism to see how well they coped with multiple
conflicting, challenging issues.

“All were in
full control of their ward and area of practice, giving them extra confidence
before they finish their studies and making myself and my colleagues incredibly
proud of how far they’ve come and will go.”

If you want to
join Gemma and Sharon, see our course pages for more.