First coordinated in November 2020 following outreach from the University, the initiative sees Vida Healthcare provide Mental Health Nursing and Adult Nursing students with real world experience, opportunities to transfer classroom knowledge into clinical skills, and the chance to build confidence and competence working with Vida’s specialist nursing and care staff.
Since its foundation, Vida has facilitated four cohorts of 20 third year students. The initiative is ongoing and another cohort is due in May.
The training sees the students undertake a practical, patient-centred course with equal amounts theory and clinical practice. This gives the students the opportunity to experience a range of different aspects of nursing in health and social care. Vida Healthcare provides particular support for the clinical practice elements of nurse training.
Stacey Adams, a third year student at the University of Bradford who has taken part in the training, commented: “I’ve absolutely loved the placement at Vida; it’s really opened my eyes to the rewarding nature of dementia care and the opportunities that are available.
“The team at Vida were incredibly welcoming and I learnt a range of valuable skills including management in nursing, and administering medication in various ways to take into account the physical capabilities of different individuals.
“While I’m currently working as an acute care nurse in the A&E department at Harrogate District Hospital, the great experience at Vida Healthcare has encouraged me to consider a role as a nurse in a care home setting for the future.
“I’ve also found that the training I received while at Vida Hall, one of Vida Healthcare’s specialist care homes, has enabled me to offer advice to my friends and family whose relatives are living with dementia which has been extremely fulfilling.”
The initiative has received extremely positive feedback from all involved, including the teaching staff at the University, students, and staff at Vida Healthcare.
Bernadette Mossman, Healthcare Director at Vida Healthcare who is leading the initiative, added: “Investing in the future social care workforce is crucial for us at Vida. Our residents come first and knowing that we’ve had a small part to play in training students who will one day go on to look after vulnerable people is wonderful.
“It’s been brilliant to work with the students and receive such positive feedback and we’re looking forward to seeing the role our involvement plays in supporting the development of the students as they progress through their courses and move into a role within the social care sector.”
Ithsham Tariq, Placement Development Officer in the School of Nursing and Healthcare Leadership at the University of Bradford, said: “This has been an absolutely fantastic opportunity for the students involved. There were some initial anxieties at the launch of the programme due to the pandemic, however the team at Vida Healthcare has been incredibly supportive, and continues to provide our students with valuable real world experience.”
Vida Healthcare is also involved in the Government’s Kickstart scheme which provides funding to create new job placements for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long term unemployment.