More than 150 student nurses have opted to start work early, while completing their studies, to help South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust during the coronavirus pandemic.
The second year students have been employed by the trust as health care assistants (mid programme students) and will take on extended placements at The James Cook University Hospital, Friarage Hospital, Redcar Primary Care Hospital and East Cleveland Primary Care Hospital as paid members of staff.
The Teesside University students will work 30 hours a week at the hospital and have one day a week for their studies.
Emma Stokes and Rebecca Hogg were among the students to volunteer.
Emma, who will be working in the cardiothoracic intensive care unit, said: “I wanted to help with the current COVID-19 outbreak and I felt that not opting in, in my current situation being young and healthy wouldn’t have sat well with me because I knew I wanted to help and had the clinical skills.”
Rebecca said: “There’s a real mix of emotions at the moment. I’m both excited and nervous.”
Eileen Aylott, associate director of nursing for education and workforce at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “It’s fantastic to see them all opt in. Obviously it’s a very scary time for them but they really want to progress on their programme and help out in this time of need.
“The students will make a difference everyday as willing pairs of hands. They will support our nursing staff and will interact and support our patients when their families can’t be here.”