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Student nurses to be ‘quality ambassadors’ at Morecambe Bay

  • 12 Comments

Five trainee nurses have been appointed as student quality ambassadors to be fresh eyes on the quality of care across University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust.

The trust, which is currently the subject of an inquiry in maternity care failings, has appointed the adult nursing students to “challenge standards of care, introduce innovative ideas and share good practice”.

“We hope staff and patients will look out for them, share experiences and bring about improvements together”

Julie Pickup

They are part of the team carrying out a trust initiative called RAISE visits – Review and Inspection of Standards for Excellence – to inspect quality and standards on wards and will also be analysing results from the Friends and Family test.

The first group of ambassadors – Zoe Wilson, Carrie Bell, Vicky Shimwell, Emma Hodgson and James Jolly – are all studying nursing at the University of Cumbria.

Ms Wilson said: “We are here to assist ward staff and to be a pro-active force to champion good practice.”

Ms Shimwell added: “We are new to the organisation so that’s an advantage as we can see what can be done differently. We can also share experiences from other areas where we have been on placement.”

Julie Pickup, a practice education facilitator at the trust, said the ambassadors would join 55 from across the North West region to develop initiatives focused on promoting care within the healthcare sector.

“All our ambassadors are innovative thinkers, easily identifiable by their purple lanyards and we hope staff and patients will look out for them, share experiences and bring about improvements together,” she said.

The student quality ambassador project was launched in 2011 and involves healthcare students from the North West of England.

There are currently around 160 ambassadors in the region, who are either training to become nurses, midwives, allied health professionals or healthcare scientists.

  • 12 Comments

Readers' comments (12)

  • does this mean medical students will also tell qualified doctors how to do their jobs?? its getting ridiculous

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  • I am in two minds about this idea. On the one hand I think having students in the workplace enhances quality anyway because we are all challenged to demonstrate that we are knowledgeable and up to date caring professionals. If we are not then it is right that they should report to their mentor or if not appropriate then their liaison tutor. However selecting trainees to 'introduce innovative ideas and share good practice' sounds rather grand - and rather scary. Just where are they to get their 'good practice' and innovative ideas' from without any experience at all? Is it the classroom? Surely these ideas should come from the senior clinical nursing staff, or from clinical research nursing staff, not from a non clinical tutor who has probably not stepped inside a ward from many years! One other word; students do not always get an easy 'ride' on the wards due to their (sometimes) rather superior attitude about what they should or should not be asked to do. Does anyone think this new initiative will do anything to remedy this? No I did not think so!

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  • I think it's a great idea using inexperienced people to tell us the best way to do our jobs. I think it should be expanded to other areas. My two year old is going to be taking the Mrs out for a driving lesson later on this evening.

    (Sarcasm is most definitely intended in this post).

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  • I hope we can keep an open mind about this. I've had senior students on nursing units in leadership clinicals (during the last semester of the pre-licensure program). At least one-third of the time they recognize problems that were previously not identified or recognized as an important problem in the clinical area--even though the problems and solutions the students proposed were welcomed by staff and management after-the-fact. There is an advantage to having fresh eyes interpret a situation. Although these students may be less experienced, we should not automatically dismiss their potential contributions. This could be a small step in overcoming the 'eating our own' legacy in nursing.

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  • Sometimes staff can become a bit complacent doing a similar task day in day out. It will help to have somebody view the environment and practice from a completely fresh perspective and identify potential for improvement.

    They maybe inexperienced in terms of practice experience, but they certainly won't be naive to what the aim of the NHS is and what everyone is woking to achieve. You don't need to spend years working somewhere to gain knowledge and experience just to suggest a potential change/contribution.

    This is a major problem in nursing- the whole 'I'm more experienced so I know better' attitude. If we were more receptive of ideas from anyone regarding their position, perhaps we wouldn't be in such a mess.

    See the potential in everybody, don't just dismiss them without letting them even try.

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  • anonymous 10-19- sorry but people with experience do know better -you'll discover that in time my dear!!

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  • Oscar Wilde — 'My experience is that as soon as people are old enough to know better, they don't know anything at all.'

    People with experience do not always know better. The number of 'experienced' nurses I've seen throughout my training and years of working who have lost touch with current clinical practice is astounding.

    Also if the leaders started practicing according to your 'I'm more experience therefore I know better' approach we'd have a dictatorship regime going on. But instead with everyone involved and everyone contributing- it works.

    Everyone is able to contribute regardless of experience...

    Why are we so scared of these individuals making suggestions?!

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  • Oscar Wilde — 'My experience is that as soon as people are old enough to know better, they don't know anything at all.'

    People with experience do not always know better. The number of 'experienced' nurses I've seen throughout my training and years of working who have lost touch with current clinical practice is astounding.

    Also if the leaders started practicing according to your 'I'm more experience therefore I know better' approach we'd have a dictatorship regime going on. But instead with everyone involved and everyone contributing- it works.

    Everyone is able to contribute regardless of experience...

    Why are we so scared of these individuals making suggestions?!

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  • I wonder if any of the previous writers have experience of 'changing places'. It is simple; experienced nursing staff from wards spend a few hours observing on wards they do not usually work on. The idea is that a fresh pair of eyes notices things that might not be apparent to those working continuously in the area. They then report back to the matron of the area and she/he will tackle any problems and introduce new ways of working. Surely that is better than using poor students, who are often not the most popular staff on a ward in the first place. Students often ask why a thing is done the way it is, and that is the way they help staff to keep up with current practice, not by thinking they know a better way of doing a thing!

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  • I would love to be a student Nurse again. It was great. Everyone heard you speak and made a 'point' of listening?
    Post qualification 'ambassadors of quality' become 'observers of ineptitude'.
    As a student Nurse nothing is your fault. But if you have a PIN number, everything is.

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