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Student nurses and health visitors gain meaningful insight into community nursing

25th August 2017

In support of Health Visiting Week (#HVWeek), and with today’s theme being around transition, a blog by Leanne Mchugh, Practice Educator 0-19 Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust, on a new mother and baby simulation project in Lincoln to give student nurses and health visitors a meaningful insight into community nursing.

Leanne Mchugh presenting a community project

Leanne Mchugh presenting a community project

The increase in student nurses requiring a mother and baby placement, and the apparent growth in the complexity of families coming through Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS), made us stop and think.

As LCHS has strong links with the University of Lincoln, we started a conversation about the number of placement places we could offer and the challenge of increased demand. We take the role of provider of educational learning opportunities seriously at LCHS, and are keen to ensure that we meet high standards.

We needed to be mindful that we had health visitor students in practice needing educational experience, so they would be an added introduction to some of our vulnerable families. We wanted to ensure that student nurses were meeting their mother and baby outcomes from the university and in line with the NMC. It was also an opportunity for our current health visitor students to take part in a new way of learning and teaching where best practice could be shared.

Alice Howell, student health visitor, said: “This is a chance to work with other health professionals to share ideas and practice, and develop new skills and learning. Coming together in training allows more joined-up working with health professionals.”


Sophie Holgate, a first-year student nurse, said: “The insight day will provide adult student nurses with the basic knowledge to uncover underlying causes of common health issues for mothers and babies. It will teach me to use communication and language skills, and to adapt them to different service users’ needs and abilities.  I will learn how to word sentences and the importance of how this can improve my relationship with service users. I will also learn the importance of empathy through hearing real-life stories. All these skills will be transferable in my nursing career.”

Event Feedback

After the event, Alice said:

“This was an exciting opportunity to work with student nurses, to raise awareness of the role of health visitors and how this links with the patients, that student nurses might work with. It was refreshing to hear their ideas and thoughts about the simulation examples. The day reinforced my reasons for joining health visiting, supported my learning as a student health visitor, and strengthened my practice and knowledge.”

Moving forwards, our current student health visitors have developed this concept by writing new scenarios and delivering the session for the second time to a 50% increase in student nurses. The project has been a huge success and will support learning and understanding about the complexities we face as health visitors without directly impacting on our families.

Leanne Mchugh, Practice Educator 0-19 Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust

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