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Gloucestershire Business News

Lilian Faithfull Care celebrates student nurses

Lilian Faithfull Care is celebrating the journey of two of its nursing team, who work at St Faith's nursing home in Cheltenham.

Sarah started her career as a carer in 2016 and has just qualified as a nursing associate. She is the first to achieve this at St Faith's.

Sarah took the two-year nursing associate course, whilst continuing her job as a carer and studying for a day a week at the University of Gloucestershire.

Sarah said: "It was hard, as I hadn't been in education for years, but I learned a lot and I'm still learning every day. I like the atmosphere here. You get to know the residents and I like the personal side of it. I wouldn't suit a hospital."

The nursing associate course is a fully funded apprenticeship and was new when Sarah started the qualification. Being able to continue earning her normal salary whilst on the course was really crucial for Sarah.

She continued: "I couldn't have done it, if I hadn't been offered an apprenticeship through the charity."

As part of the course, Sarah organised placements to gain experience in other settings. She went to The Dean Neurological Centre in Gloucester, A&E and Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice, as she has a particular interest in end-of-life care.

Sarah now has plans to go on to the full nursing degree, but first wishes to gain more experience as a nursing associate.

Teresa, St Faith's home manager, said: "The team here are all delighted with Sarah's achievement. Since she joined us as a carer in 2016, she has taken every training opportunity, and it's been a privilege to see her development. We are proud to have her as part of our nursing team."

Alina is a mental health nursing student in her last year of her degree at the University of Gloucestershire and on placement at St Faith's.

Lilian Faithfull Care has welcomed students for many years, but Alina is the first student mental health nurse. It has been so successful, that the charity hopes to continue working with student mental health nurses in the future.

Alina started work as a domestic at a mental health hospital in London before becoming a carer, then deciding to go to university.

Alina said: It's been hard, but it's been worth it. It's been a good place to learn about mental health. It's different to my other placements, but interesting."

Alina has already been offered a job after she graduates, back at the London hospital where she started her career.

Pauline, clinical lead at St Faith's and nurse mentor, said: "I have found it a rewarding teaching and learning experience. The knowledge shared has benefited us in highlighting the fine line between mental and physical health."

Nick Oxlade, from the School of Health and Social Care at the University of Gloucestershire, said: "University of Gloucestershire has been delighted with the success of the relationship with Lilian Faithfull Care, which has been reflected in the staff and student experience whilst on placement. As one of the first non-NHS placements set up seven years ago, the experience of students in this setting has gone from strength to strength."

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