Emotional journey for DMU nurses training in India

Nursing students made an emotional visit to one of the poorest areas in Gujarat state when they helped share their life saving skills with communities.

Children, health workers, teachers and village nurses were able to learn basic first aid and how to minimise injuries thanks to the team of seven students, all studying Child Nursing at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU).

Here is a video capturing their incredible week:

They spoke of their pride at being able to spend time with those who would benefit most from learning how to treat injuries. People who came to the free workshops were able to take their new knowledge back to their villages, communities, schools or homes and pass on their skills.

Throughout the week, the students were able to deliver training for 250 people, including children who live in the Gandhi Ashram which is supported by the DMU Square Mile India Fund to give them the best start in life.

Among the skills shown was CPR, given to someone who has suffered a cardiac arrest. One woman, after receiving the lessons, burst into tears and said if she had been given that training and told them: “If I had the training a few months ago, I might have been able to save my father’s life.”

All the nurses said the week-long visit was incredible, and reminded them just why they had chosen nursing as their career.  

Ceri Lovell said India was a “wonderful experience”. She added: “Witnessing the compassion and passion that everyone has for everything that they do has inspired me to show that level of passion and commitment in my nursing as a student and beyond.”

Lucy Edwards said: “Being able to share our basic first aid knowledge with the teachers, healthcare workers and children was such a privilege it made me realise that I should never take knowledge and education for granted. I feel so grateful that I had this opportunity.”  

The students stayed a five-minute walk from the Gandhi Ashram, which is supported by DMU Square Mile India. Every month DMU students from different faculties and degree subjects travel to there to volunteer, sharing their skills with the youngsters and the community.

This is the first time that nursing students have travelled to India. It was led by Helena Dunbar, Senior Lecturer in Nursing and Midwifery, who devised and runs similar classes in primary schools in Leicester. Hundreds of children have learned about preventing and minimising injury as well as CPR skills.
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Student Lowri Jones said: “The passion and commitment that the women, men and children have to learn the first aid we were teaching them amazed me every single time and we need to be more grateful for our education here in England.

"Things I have learnt from the locals here will stay with me forever and they have taught me more than I could ever teach them. I will be grateful for this experience given to me for the rest of my life.”

Charlotte Leith added: “I have found myself re-evaluating my values, compassion and attitude in every aspect of my nursing career and personal life.

“It’s crazy to think we live in the 21st century and many people are going without the very basics clean water, food, electricity and a home. It’s great that programmes exist within Ahmedabad to provide services to the community and that we as a team were able to give a vital skill to the community.

“I feel inspired and determined to return back to India and volunteer in the future.”

Posted on: Wednesday 06 December 2017

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