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Student nurse initiative: 'Improving the dignity of vulnerable patients'

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“It has always been my dream to become a nurse in the UK. It is such an important profession that allows you to help change lives for the better, and I am very proud to be working towards a career in the NHS.”


Kay Margaret Lledo

Kay Margaret Lledo, 27, is a third year adult nursing student at the University of South Wales and is currently on placement at Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil.

Already a registered nurse in her home country of the Philippines, Kay has recently been selected as a finalist for this year’s NHS Wales awards for her project which aims to improve the dignity of vulnerable patients.

“My project is called ‘Dignity at Mealtimes’, and is designed to help hospital patients who are unable to feed themselves, by providing an adult apron for them to wear while they eat.

“The project is aimed at elderly patients, those who have suffered a stroke, or dementia sufferers who have been admitted to hospital and are no longer able to feed themselves independently.

“As part of our Quality Improvement module we are encouraged to observe care in hospitals and find areas that could be better.

“While on placements I noticed that some hospitals were using towels or pillowcases to cover patients during mealtimes, which wasn’t always the most efficient or dignified way of keeping their clothes clean. There were no formal solutions to this, so I started to think of ways in which we could help.

“After asking a local company to provide a small number of adult aprons, we conducted a pilot study with patients at Prince Charles Hospital during breakfast, lunch and dinner times.

“The company actually gave us 25 aprons and we received great feedback from staff nurses, as well as family members who were so appreciative of seeing the patients clean and happy when they came in to visit.

“I’m very excited and nervous to have been selected as one of the finalists for the NHS Wales Students Improving Patient Safety and Quality Award. I’d like to say a big thank you to my lecturer Denise Langford, who first told us about the awards and helped with the project submission.

“I have been lucky enough to have already had a job offer after I graduate, at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London on the palliative care ward. I can’t wait to get started.”

Kay Lledo is studying adult nursing at University of South Wales

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