Nursing and paramedic student Gemma Richardson has been working with dementia patients

Hospital chiefs have praised students for going “above and beyond” to serve the community through the pandemic.

Students from the College of West Anglia (CWA) in King’s Lynn have been undertaking key worker roles as well as studying during the past three months.

A number of students from the Health and Social Care and Nursing and Paramedic courses have been working  at the Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

QEH chief executive Caroline Shaw said students went above and beyond during the  hospital’s response in fighting the coronavirus pandemic and paid tribute to some of them.

“Deja John, who typically works in A&E and is undertaking a Nursing and Paramedic course, has been working as one of our amazing PPE officers throughout the pandemic.

“Matthew Cooper, who completed a Level 3 Team Leader course in 2019, typically works in our Day Surgery Unit, has been exceptional through the outbreak, working shifts in Yellow ED, our coronavirus emergency department.

“And finally, Amelia Howard, typically a Widening Participation Administrator who completed a Level 3 Business course in 2017, has been redeployed to Mandatory Training.

“We have employed a large number of colleagues to support our COVID-19 response and Amelia and the Mandatory Training team have been working on ensuring staff are getting the correct training to start their roles.”

College students have also been working in other settings during the pandemic.

Level 3 Nursing and Paramedic student, Gemma Richardson has been working as a care assistant at Lynn’s Briar House Care Home, which has around 50 patients with dementia.

“Each shift is 12 hours and it is a long day, but I find my work extremely rewarding,” she said. 

“At times it is hard to stay positive as we all struggle with not seeing our families and friends, but knowing that I am doing an important job, caring for individuals with dementia who are not able to see their families at the moment, makes it feel like we are one big family.”

Meanwhile, first year Level 3 Nursing and Paramedic student Lily Robinson has signed-up to an “adopt a grandparent” scheme which focuses on pairing-up residents with caring individuals in the community in a bid to combat loneliness.

College principal David Pomfret said: “I am extremely proud of the maturity, resilience and dedication they have shown, particularly over the past few months.

“They are making an invaluable contribution to our healthcare sector and I can’t wait to see their outstanding careers blossom in the future.”