Helen Whately MP met virtually with Jayne Johnson, clinical placement facilitator, and the student nurses at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH), near Oswestry, via Microsoft Teams to hear more about their experiences whilst on their extended placements.
A total of 17 nursing students; as well as several therapy, radiology and operating department practitioner students; joined the workforce at the hospital back in April to support the response to the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Jayne said: “The virtual visit with Helen was a fantastic experience and it was great that we could all share our individual experiences with her.
“The students had particular praise for Anne Lloyd, Clwyd Ward manger, for the support and guidance she gave the students while they were on their extended placements.
"A few of our students had also already secured jobs at RJAH prior to their six-month placement, so they found the experience very beneficial in preparing themselves for their role once they qualified.
“Throughout their placements, all the students demonstrated remarkable resilience during such a challenging time and they were a key asset to our workforce and the trust. I have nothing but praise for them all.”
At the start of the pandemic last year, regular orthopaedic surgery was halted at RJAH as the hospital took on the orthopaedic trauma service for Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin.
This helped to free up capacity in the acute hospitals to manage an influx of Covid-19 patients.
Ms Whately said: “I am immensely grateful for the commitment and hard work of all our students throughout this pandemic.
"I was honoured to speak to some of the newly qualified nurses who opted into placements on the frontline as students and hear about their experiences.
“I know this national emergency has presented an unprecedented challenge, but student nurses have more than risen to this and have been a huge asset to our health service.
"It’s great to see that these students have joined the workforce at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital as registered nurses.”
The nurses who joined the call alongside Jayne included Helen Crawley, Jo Davies, Stephanie Doleman, Kathryn Dytor and Mat Wright.
Helen is currently in her final year of her nursing degree, while the four other students have since qualified and have staff nurse roles at RJAH.