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Health care students and staff featured as 'Workplace Heroes' on BBC Radio Wolverhampton


The efforts of staff and students in the Institute of Health have been praised on BBC Radio Wolverhampton by the institute’s director Dr Sharon Arkell.

Dr Arkell was featured on the radio station’s ‘Workplace Heroes’ segment on the Breakfast Show.

During the interview, in relation to students, she said: “They have to go out on placements for quite long periods of time during their courses and obviously, with the pandemic, their placements changed. They were very anxious about the virus and what they might be exposed to and they had family considerations as well. It’s been particularly difficult for them and it’s been confusing for all of us and very anxiety provoking.

“Our healthcare students all work alongside professionals registrants in the clinical areas, so they undertake practice in the same way the professionals would. We have a large number of nursing students who would have been involved in caring for patients on the Covid wards and the NHS trusts. They’ve been very much on the frontline, actively participating in the care.

“Many of our students during the pandemic have taken on additional roles, such as the Covid testing, vaccinations, so not only doing their course, they’ve also taken on these additional roles to support the communities throughout the pandemic.”

In relation to staff, Dr Arkell added: “Particularly for the healthcare students, we still had to do some practical sessions with them, in our skills centres, wearing full PPE. There was a lot of planning, risk assessments, etc. There was a lot to consider, and the academic staff have worked really hard to ensure that students get the learning that they need during this period.

“It’s been very fast pace in terms of change. We had to adapt and we have adapted, as the NHS has adapted. We’ve changed our ways of working. Twelve months ago, we wouldn’t have believed we could do what we have actually achieved. All the credit to the staff that I work with. They’ve been fantastic. And similarly, our placement partners as well.”

Listen to the full interview on BBC Sounds (1:19:20 – 1:23:43)

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