University of Salford nursing students star in ITV1 documentary

Wednesday 29 January 2014

Inspirational student nurses from the University of Salford will feature on a prime time ITV1 documentary which begins at 8pm on Friday, 14 February.

From rock drummers to carpet fitters, Student Nurses: Bedpans and Bandages follows the diverse backgrounds and lives of students from the University of Salford and Birmingham City University, with all the pressures, emotions and challenges they face in training and on the wards.

The series offers an insight into what it takes to become a nurse in the 21st Century, uncovering the motivation behind the student nurses’ dreams and showing the challenges they face on a daily basis; juggling academic study with home life and work on the wards.

Episode one follows 24-year-old first-year Salford student Alistair, one of the growing number of men taking on the challenge of becoming a nurse.

Alistair reveals how he feels about entering the world of nursing: “Bricking it. I’m pretty scared to be honest. I’m not used to being around so many women all the time.”

It’s a world away from the job Alistair was trained to do by his Dad. But Alistair is preparing to swap his regular pay cheque as a carpet-fitter for a different type of reward.

Alastair says: “You won’t save lives fitting carpets. But if I can save one life being a nurse, then what an achievement that is in life.” He adds: “I’m not here for the money; I’m here for that reward that comes with nursing.”

This episode sees Alistair set foot on a ward at Royal Bolton Hospital for the very first time, after two months in the classroom.

A nervous Alistair says: “I’m worried most about how I’ll react to people in such poor condition or people who seriously need help. I’ve never seen it before, so I think it’ll be quite a shock to the system.”

As Alastair tackles the challenges his first patient brings, he says: “I feel personally as if I’ve got a lot to prove, as the rest of the cohort have got quite a bit of experience in health care.”

Episode one also follows 21-year-old Helen on a ward at Salford Royal. Helen is nearing the end of a demanding three-year degree to fulfil her childhood dream of becoming a children’s nurse.

She admits: “When I started, maybe I was a little bit naïve to how much work there was. But now I definitely know. The work-life balance has kind of gone out the window and I am doing a lot more work than life, if you know what I mean. But, I know at the end it’s for a good cause.”

Helen continues: “Nurses are taking on a lot more responsibility now. What people don’t understand is, it’s not just a degree – I’m still doing a degree now, plus full time hours every single week. Just because I’m not in university, doesn’t mean I’ve not still got four assignments to be getting on with.”

Student Nurses: Bedpans and Bandages, episode one, 8pm, Friday 14 February. Series contains eight episodes.