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Scottish student nurses go on army bootcamp to improve their teamwork

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More than 300 student nurses at a university in Scotland are taking part in a military bootcamp this month to hone their teamwork and leadership skills.

First-year students from the University of Dundee’s Kirkcaldy and Dundee campuses have joined the programme to test a range of abilites including mental agility, response time, observational skills, physical ability, intelligence and general knowledge.

“Teamwork, communication, decision-making and leadership are core attributes necessary in newly qualified nurses”

Tom McConnachie 

The scheme, being run in conjunction with army reserves from the 225 (Scottish) Medical Regiment until early December, is aimed at improving both the participants’ physical and emotional resilience.

Nurse lecturer Tom McConnachie set up the programme, which is called Exercise Team Spirit.

“Exercise Team Spirit is designed to help students identify and develop teamwork and leadership skills early in their educational programme, and give them an understanding of how a team is led, how roles within that team are determined, and how to improve their communication and problem-solving,” he said.

“Teamwork, communication, decision-making and leadership are core attributes necessary in newly qualified nurses. Students also have to develop both physical and emotional resilience to face the challenge of working within busy clinical environments,” he added.

Stephen Tee, a staff sargeant of Regiment 225, said: “So far the students have been brilliant – and have exceeded our expectations.

“It makes complete sense for us, a medical regiment, to be working with nursing students, as our skillsets are very similar,” he said.

“Leadership and teamwork exercises form the bedrock of everything we do in the army, and the nurses have been good as any soldier,” he added.

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