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RETURNING TO THE NHS: Shona goes full circle from DMU nursing grad to supporting students on the frontline


In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of our teaching staff at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) volunteered to return to work within the NHS at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust (UHL). These are their stories:

It was 17 years ago that Associate Professor Shona Green first left DMU to go and work as a nurse in hospital.

And now, to help support those working on the NHS frontlines, she is doing the exact same thing – only this time as a fully qualified academic, rather than a graduate.

Shona Green

Shona, who has worked and researched at DMU since 2012, took the opportunity to go back into the NHS as part of the drive to bolster front line efforts against COVID-19.

She is now back working at the Leicester Royal Infirmary (LRI) in A&E one day a week, alongside students and offering her experiences.

She said: “I am very grateful to DMU for letting me go out on secondment. Having qualified as a nurse at DMU myself many years ago, I have done all this firsthand and now being able to help others is a very rewarding experience.

“I have been seconded one day a week from DMU to go and work in the emergency department at LRI. My background is an A&E nurse. I worked there before I started back at the university in 2012.

“I have mainly been working with the nursing students out on placement. I have been working alongside them, supporting them and seeing how they feel in the environment.

“If there are no students on shift, I work with the emergency department team, helping with whatever I can.”

Graduation picture- Shona G

According to Shona, staff at LRI have dealt with all the obstacles they have faced exceptionally and provided the best possible care to patients.

“The staff at LRI are exceptional. They remain positive whatever they are faced with. It has been a difficult time, there have been a lot of changes made to the department and staff have had to adapt quickly.

“Nurses within the Emergency Department, have been undertaking the same working practices for many years, the turnaround to a new way of working during COVID is remarkable and everyone has pulled together.”

She continued: “Really, they are now running two separate departments one for COVID and one for non COVID. It is a challenge across a number of wards at LRI but everyone remains positive and helps each other out.”

Shona said all the second and third year DMU student nurses out on placement are doing the university proud.

“At first, students were apprehensive,” she said. “But now they have been working within the Emergency Department for a few weeks and are getting settled.

“They have had full PPE training from Education staff and  UHL mentors, and they have been incredibly supportive.

“Naturally, the students have been worried about all the uncertainty and their progression but just like everyone else they have adapted really well to a new way of working.”

Posted on Friday 31st July 2020

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