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Students Work in NHS to Help With COVID-19 Pressure

Seven West London College students have completed paid work placements from 1 March to 26 March 2021, as ward support staff within the NHS to help with the COVID-19 pressure. The students worked for the Imperial College Healthcare Trust within St. Mary’s Hospital, Hammersmith Hospital and Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, helping to maintain vital stocks of supplies and medicines and supporting patients with their care.

Access student Olanike Ajeigbe was based at St Mary’s Hospital, Hammersmith
Access student Olanike Ajeigbe was based at St Mary’s Hospital, Hammersmith

Three of the students are in their second and final year on our Health and Social Care Level 3; three are from our Access to HE Diploma in Nursing. Both courses give students the knowledge, research and skills they need for university. One student is on a health and social care Employability Skills Level 1 course.

Yusra Hassan, aged 18, studies Health and Social Care Level 3, and worked at Charing Cross Hospital. Yusra felt the work placement helped her understand her coursework better, and she was able to put into practice theories she had learned at college, such as Tuckman’s theory on Team Building. 

Yusra said: “A typical day for me was helping nurses check blood pressure, pulse rate and temperature, as well as, having conversations with elderly people on the ward to stimulate and entertain them.”

Olanike Ajeigbe, aged 36, is studying Access to HE Nursing and was based at St Mary’s Hospital, Hammersmith. She also helped nurses by checking patients’ vital signs. Just like Yusra, Olanike also measured patients’ Body Mass Index (BMI) and learned how to flush out a catheter.

Olanike said: “I found working with the patients and families inspirational and if there is any future opportunity to work with the NHS Trust, I would love to take it.”

Both Yusra and Olanike plan to go to university and study for nursing degrees, specialising in working with children.

Liam Wild, Health and Social Care Curriculum Manager, said: “This was a great opportunity for our students and we as a college are extremely proud of all our students who were able to support our fantastic NHS throughout this pandemic. We look forward to building on our collaboration in the future as we look to continue to support our NHS, and continue to  enhance the skills of our students.”

The seven students worked on shifts full-time for four weeks, including weekends, and were paid over £12 an hour. 

Head of Careers at West London College, Kerri Ryan, said: “These fixed-term placements were an excellent opportunity for our students to develop their healthcare and employability skills. The project has been a fantastic first step in developing the partnership between our local NHS Trust and West London College.”

The work placement project grew out of the North West London Health Care Skills Partnership, chaired by West London College Deputy Principal, David Warnes.

The partnership brings together colleges, NHS trusts, care sector employers and GP practices, from across the region, to develop opportunities to up-skill and re-skill people who want to work in the sector.

David Warnes, West London College Deputy Principal said: “West London College is committed to ensuring the best employment outcomes for our students so we were delighted to work with Imperial Healthcare Trust to set up this scheme. We were also proud to make our contribution to helping our local communities during the COVID-19 healthcare crisis.”

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