Nursing students undertake ambulance shift

St Andrew’s Healthcare and East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) are working together to improve mental health nursing students training.

While ambulance staff are trained primarily to deal with physical health emergencies, they are increasingly called out to assist people experiencing mental health crisis. For these patients, timely and appropriate support from the emergency services is essential.

Five of St Andrew’s students – three of which are staff members undertaking degree-level training at the University of Northampton, and two of whom are students on placement from the University – joined the ambulance service for a two-week experience in November. Before their shift, a team from EMAS came to explain more to the students about what is expected of them.

Karen Graves, Mentoring Lead for St Andrew’s, explained: “This was an exciting opportunity for the students to experience frontline emergency care, and gave them a real chance at developing their physical health assessment skills.

"This was also a great opportunity for the students to share their knowledge of mental health issues with the EMAS team and their Practice Educators. This has created great links with EMAS, and one we hope to extend further. The students were really excited to be going out on the ambulances and learn as much as they can from the experience.”

The opportunity is valued by the students involved. Anjelica explained: “The placement with EMAS an amazing experience, where I felt as though I learned so much regarding physical health and also the exceptional job all those that work for EMAS do on a daily basis.

"Anyone who is given the opportunity to do this placement, should most certainly go for it as it was a life changing experience for me personally.”

Donna Bray, Subject Lead for Nursing at the University of Northampton, said: “Our nursing students gained much practical experience and insight into the valuable work of Paramedic teams during this exercise. Many thanks to St Andrew’s for organising this wonderful example of cross-discipline working.”

St Andrew’s Healthcare is committed to delivering exceptional nurse training, offering high quality mentoring, practice education and support that is aligned to students’ learning requirements and objectives. 

The ASPIRE programme helps Healthcare Assistants working for the charity to progress through to Staff Nurse, with £15,000 salary support. To find out more about becoming a St Andrew’s nurse, visit the careers pages of our website. For more information about joining East Midlands Ambulance Service, click here. 

Pictured: (left to right) Sarah Byrd from ITV Anglia, Lee Brentnall from EMAS, Anjelica Nagle (a Healthcare Assistant at St Andrew's and second year nursing student), Bobbie from St Andrew's, Johnny from ITV Anglia.