Training on virtual ward

Demi Stedman and Jolene Brownless (right) practice feeding as Charlotte Allport plays the role of a patient
Demi Stedman and Jolene Brownless (right) practice feeding as Charlotte Allport plays the role of a patient

HEALTHCARE apprentices were given a dose of real-life training when a virtual ward was set up on a hospital.

The 21 apprentices took part in the mock set-up to give them a head-start in a nursing career after they joined the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust.

The trainees will be working on wards at the University Hospital of Hartlepool and the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton, while they complete a two-year diploma in advanced level clinical health care support level 3 in health and social care at Hartlepool College of Further Education and Stockton Riverside College.

During the virtual ward event, which was set up at the Stockton-based hospital, the apprentices were divided into groups and played the roles of patients and healthcare assistants in scenarios to get them into practice.

Tasks took the apprentices through a typical day on the wards starting with positioning patients for feeding, learning about adapted cutlery, helping with personal hygiene and learning about the importance of patient documentation.

Julia Siddle, 18 and Jessica Watson, 20, from Hartlepool, were among the apprentices.

Julia said: “The training is really good.

“You don’t feel like you’re thrown in at the deep end.

“This has given us chance to ask lots of questions before starting work on the wards.”

Director of nursing and patient safety, Sue Smith, said: “The apprenticeship scheme gives students practical, hands-on experience working as healthcare assistants while gaining a nationally recognised qualification.

“I’m always impressed with the attitude, skill and hard work of our healthcare apprentices.

“They play an important role giving support to the nursing staff, contributing to making sure our patients get the high standards of care they deserve.”