Student nurses vaccinate fellow students

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University of South Wales (USW) nursing students have been working hard to provide Covid-19 vaccinations at the Pontypridd campus.

Last week, the Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board pop-up clinic saw volunteer nursing students administer first and second dose vaccines to students, before they return to face-to-face learning and teaching.

Supervised by clinical staff, the nurses were based at the USW Conference Centre during Welcome Week, which included a WelcomeFest event, where new and returning students were entertained by live music, information stalls, free food and drink tasters, and a local traders’ market.

The Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles MS, spoke with the nursing students when he visited USW’s Pontypridd Campus during the week. He said: “Students have played a really important role, as part of our university community - in terms of research but also in terms of volunteering and support for the NHS during the last 18 months. So welcome back and thank you very much.”

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One of the nurses administering vaccines was Caitlin Davies, a USW nursing student from Llantrisant. She said:

“This week has been a really exciting opportunity. It has been lovely to see the students coming in and wanting to stay safe by having their vaccines. It is also important experience for us to gain before we qualify.

“Vaccinations are so important to keep the students, their families, their friends, and USW staff safe. Especially as a lot of students live in shared accommodation and Covid can spread so quickly.”

“As part of my course, I had a work placement on Ward 15, Royal Glamorgan Hospital. This is a rehabilitation ward for post-operative fractures etc. I loved working there. Patients would come on to the ward bedbound but within a couple of weeks they would be walking up and down the wards. It was such a positive place.”

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Also studying on the BSc (Hons) Nursing (Adult) course was Rebecca Lacey, from Aberdare:

“I have completed my last block of study and will be graduating later this year. I’ve worked various placements, including Ward 10 (Acute Strokes Unit), and on the Covid High Dependency Unit, both at Prince Charles Hospital.

“This week has been really good. We have been getting students coming in who wouldn’t normally go for a vaccine.

“If you are a student coming to university and maybe a bit hesitant whether to get a vaccine, my message is to go and have it. Not having the vaccine is a risk. Covid-19 is unpredictable and can affect anyone. Vaccination will lower the risk of you becoming really poorly if you were to catch Covid.”

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Carys Davies, from Neath, has recently qualified as a Paediatric Nurse from USW. She said:

“I really enjoyed my studies at USW. It was a great course and everyone was so supportive. Now on to the next step, which is a job on the Children’s Ward at Morriston Hospital.

“I would encourage students to have the vaccination. As nurses, it is our responsibility to protect the NHS. Our health service is one of the most important things we have in this country.

“If anyone is worried, we are more than happy to answer their questions.”

Clare Williams, Deputy Director of Strategy and Transformation at Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board said: “Thank you to everyone who was involved in the pop-up vaccination clinics. It really has been a great example of partnership working at its best. Thanks to all the teams that made it happen.

“If you are a student at USW and still haven’t had your first dose, or your second dose is overdue, please comes and see us by walking into any of our community vaccination centres and get yourself protected, your friends and family protected and your community protected.”