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University hosts event 'to challenge nursing gender stereotypes'

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A nursing department at a university in Scotland has hosted a day of activities for primary school boys to “challenge certain stereotypes around the field of nursing”, including those related to gender.

Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen provided the 15 students with access to the department’s skills lab last month where they were shown a number of nursing procedures and given talks by male nurses.

“It’s important that young people are fully aware of the opportunities they have available to them and that we challenge certain stereotypes”

Donald Todd

They worked with a role-playing patient and a life-like mannequin – which mimics breathing blinking and speaking - used as a patient simulator to learn about nursing activities.

The students practised assessing an injury, learning how to dress wounds, taking blood pressure and temperature readings, while also being taught cardiopulmonary resuscitation for both adults and children.

As part of the event, which took place on 20 June, the group was also introduced to the wide variety of areas nurses could specialise in and the opportunities outside of hospitals.

Lecturers also hosted Q&A sessions with the pupils and mental health nursing staff provided a film and discussion on feelings, values and how mental health affects overall health.

“The boys were really enthusiastic to learn more about nursing, particularly after we showed them that not all nurses work in hospitals”

Donald Todd

“It’s important that young people are fully aware of the opportunities they have available to them and that we challenge certain stereotypes around the field of nursing, such as around gender,” said Donald Todd, senior lecturer in the university’s school of nursing and midwifery.

“The boys were really enthusiastic to learn more about nursing, particularly after we showed them that not all nurses work in hospitals and opened their eyes to the various specialisations they could pursue,” he added.

Lauren Riley, project co-ordinator for the university’s’ department for the enhancement of learning, teaching and access (DELTA), which ran the day, said: “The university is committed to playing a strong and active role within the community and we are always proud to support pupils who have the ability and potential to benefit from higher education.”

“A key part of this process is by providing young people with information and opportunities to succeed, through hosting days such as this. These pupils enjoyed their introduction to the RGU campus, with many expressing an interest in pursuing a nursing career at the end of the day,” she added.

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