Hundreds of Sheffield Hallam healthcare students volunteer to join NHS workforce
More than 600 final-year nursing and allied health students from Sheffield Hallam University have volunteered to join the NHS workforce immediately and help treat the Covid-19 pandemic.
This includes 376 nursing students who will be joining the NHS colleagues sooner than anticipated as part of the UK’s response to the virus.
The healthcare students are in the final six months of their degrees and will become paid volunteers, supporting key staff on the frontline.
Areas the students will work in include nursing, midwifery, paramedic practice, operating department practice, radiotherapy and oncology, diagnostic radiography, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and end of life care.
They will all receive special COVID-19 training, including oxygen therapy, from the university to teach them how to look after coronavirus patients and themselves during the pandemic.
Professor Sally Shearer, Executive Director of Nursing and Quality at Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are indebted to those final year students in the last six months of their education programme who have kindly opted to undertake an extended placement period, joining our teams and providing frontline care during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We are likely to see an increased number of children and young people accessing our services over the forthcoming weeks, and have been working hard to reconfigure our teams to meet this demand. Our extended placement students are an incredibly valuable part of this response.”
The students have each specified the region that they would prefer to be placed, with many expected to stay at local trusts across South Yorkshire.
Dr Toni Schwarz, Dean for the College of Health and Wellbeing at Sheffield Hallam, said: “I want to pay tribute to the exceptional commitment of our staff who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make this deployment possible.
“Mobilising one of the biggest groups of healthcare students in the UK has been a huge logistical challenge. As a truly civic university we are proud of the positive impact that our students will have at this time of national crisis.”