“Walk in my Shoes” Test

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As part of the development of the New Dumfries and Galloway Hospital mock-up rooms which are an exact replica of the 344 bedrooms which are currently being constructed at the new site near Cargenbridge, on the outskirts of Dumfries have been built. The £212 million hospital will feature the largest single rooms in Scotland, with all of them en-suite. Some of the main features in the room include floor to ceiling windows and an integrated nurse calling system. for more details,  see:


Yesterday, to get an idea of how people with dementia might view the rooms our school were invited to take some staff and students into the rooms, using simulation equipment that helps people understand what having some of the sensory losses and impairments that people with dementia may develop may be like. Using the equipment a “walk in my shoes” simulation was carried out. It is hoped that the ‘testing’ will help to develop understanding about how people with cognitive or sensory impairment may feel in the new rooms and perhaps assist in improving their design.

(Thanks to mental health lecturer Anna Waugh for the pics).

Scottish Child Poverty, Health and Wellbeing eLearning Module Launched

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On Wednesday NHS Health Scotland (NES) launched a new resource a Child Poverty, Health and Wellbeing eLearning Module. Lyz Howie Midwife Lecturer and programme leader for the  MSc Midwifery (with-registration) was part of the steering group charged with developing this resource in partnership with staff from NES.

The learning resource aims to raise awareness of the plight of young peoples’ poverty issues in Scotland, and the impact poverty has on their health and wellbeing. Initially developed for health visitors and midwives, the new module is relevant for all working across health, social care, education and the public sector who are in contact with children at work. Overall, the module has been designed to cover the following key learning outcomes:

  • Describe what child poverty is and what causes it
  • Outline how child poverty is defined and measured in Scotland
  • Explain how poverty impacts children and young people’s health & wellbeing
  • Promote individuals’ reflection of their roles in reducing the impact of child poverty on health and wellbeing

John Dickie, Director of CPAG in Scotland said:

“The introduction of this new resource will be an excellent way to help raise the awareness of child poverty – and the impact it has on children’s health and wellbeing. And going forward, I would really encourage people to participate in this learning so they can fully understand how their work can really make a big difference in tackling the serious issues surrounding child poverty.”

Professor Jayne Donaldson, Dean – Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport at University of Stirling said:

“This new module will not just be useful for increasing students’ awareness of the subject of child poverty and austerity, it will also make them aware of the long term outcomes. In addition to this, we also have plans to integrate the eLearning module into our Undergraduate BSc Nursing Programme and our MSc/PGDip Early Years Practice (Health Visiting) Programme.”

Learners can access the module by following the URL link https://elearning.healthscotland.com/course/view.php?id=523 and self-enrolling onto Health Scotland’s Virtual Learning Environment.

Meningitis Vaccination Session in Hamilton

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The University’s Health & Safety Services is working closely with its public health colleagues at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde to keep students informed of the dangers of Meningitis.

Meningitis is most commonly found in children and young people and the incidence of meningococcal W (Men W) disease is increasing in Scotland and across the rest of the UK.

Students who are under 25, attending university for the first time and have not already received a dose of MenACWY vaccine since August 2015 from their GP or at school, are encouraged to attend a vaccination session at Hamilton Campus.

The vaccination session, which is being administered by NHS staff, is taking place on Monday 10 October, from 9am to 4.30pm in the Alamada Building; in Room A154. This event follows a vaccination session at Paisley Campus in September and other sessions are currently being arranged for the University’s other campuses.  If you have any questions regarding the vaccination session next month or future sessions please email HealthSafetyServices@uws.ac.uk

Am I Only a Student Nurse?

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A Poem:


I am only a student nurse is what we often say, I am only a student nurse is what some hear, but in all honesty, that’s not true.

When we first start out we are scared to say, but time rolls on and we find we tend to pray, not for the marks we wish to gain, but for the poor souls when we feel their pain.

As the time goes on some will falter, we all find the strength from one another, and this is when we all become stronger.

Before we know our time as a student comes to an end and the next batch of fear starts to appear.

It’s all so true that the world is a scary place, but again we are never alone.

We are the ones who are there when people have no other, we are there having the privilege of seeing new life, we even have the privilege of seeing someone take their last breath – this releasing them of the pain they may be in, we can mend the broken bones, we can mend the broken skin we can even mend a broken mind. We even listen when no-one else can.

We have to ask ourselves; so am I still only a student?

By Collete Sherrit (3rd Year Student Nurse).

It’s not often that a piece of creative writing appears here so many thanks to Collette for sharing her thoughts. Collette explains

I’ve known I wanted to do nursing since I was 6 years old.  I worked in healthcare as an auxiliary and then a clinical support worker.  I decided I wanted a new challenge and applied for the Access to Nursing course and then onto the HNC in Care and Administrative practice.  I realised I was ready for University and was successful in gaining direct entry to Part 2 of the BSc Adult Nursing programme.  I’m not going to lie – it has been challenging – juggling family life and managing financially.  When I write essays I find it difficult to put thoughts down in a fluent way, I need time to think.  I was thinking about the struggles my peers and I have been through and this poem came to me – it helps me and my fellow students to keep the momentum going as we head to achieve our goal of becoming staff nurses. 

Collette selected the image, to sum up, her persona and the sentiments of the poem.

“I feel I am caring and empathetic and this picture makes me think of the extra time we have as students to spend quality time with patients and how much we appreciate that.”

If you are student within the school and have any examples of creative media that you would like to share here please e-mail raymond.duffy@uws.ac.uk

Wear Jeans to Change Lives.

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Friday 22nd September was “Jeans for Genes” day and the 2016 cohort of student midwives decided to fundraise for this charity. The event raises money to improve the lives of children that are affected by genetic disorders. Everyone who participated by wearing their jeans that day contributed some money, which will be forwarded to the charity by student midwife Lorna Caldwell. Pictured with the students is Midwifery Lecturer Sheona Brown, who apparently had to borrow jeans to participate! If you are interested in finding out more about this charity and perhaps making a contribution to its valuable work visit:



Professor Deery Guests at International Seminar in Norway

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deery2Professor Ruth Deery of the School’s Institute of Healthcare Policy and Practice was a Guest Professor recently at two prestigious events held at Nord University, Bodo, Norway.

Professor Deery presented a keynote lecture on action research at these events.The seminar, Childbearing in Europe, Qualitative Research Network Seminar and  her Workshop on Childbearing in a Changing World – Knowledge based on Qualitative Research Methods, took place at Nord University on 14th, 15th and 16th September 2016. She was joined at these events by Dr Helen Shallow, who is also from the Institute of Healthcare Policy and Practice.

Professor Deery said:

“I was delighted to be a Guest Professor at these events. The aim of the seminars was to collaborate to enable a deeper understanding of qualitative approaches and methods in childbearing research and to create an opportunity to elaborate on present and future collaborative international research, in this area.”

School Success at Scotland’s Dementia Awards 2016

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Fiona Everett, Caroline Adam and Winnie McGarry



Congratulations to our Adult Nurse Lecturers  Winnie McGarry, Fiona Everett, Caroline Adam and Wendy Wright on their huge success as their project “Dementia-Class in a Bag” won the award for  Best Educational Initiative. The Class in a Bag is an innovative intergenerational educational learning tool devised by a team within the School of Health, Nursing & Midwifery for creative and informative teaching and workshop delivery in nurseries, schools, NHS, care homes and a variety of other settings. Class in a Bag contents can be can be used to give a unique insight via a dementia simulation exercise of some of the challenges of living with dementia to a variety of audiences, particularly children. It is tailored to suit specific learning goals and illustrate a range of health topics including dementia awareness, hygiene, and healthy eating.

Special mention must also go to Dr Karen Watchman also from UWS who’s Jenny’s Diary Initiative was one of the runners-up, in the same category. More information about the initiative can be found at Jenny’s Diary Page


Dr Margaret Brown with her Life Time Achievement Award


The highlight of the afternoon though was the Life Time Achievement Award which was presented to the soon to be “Dr.” Margaret Brown for her contribution to Dementia Education across a long career in Older Adult Services in NHS Lanarkshire and of course as a Nurse Lecturer within our School. Our hearty congratulations go out to Margaret on the recognition of what has been for her a lifetime’s work which still continues here.There are still a few more people whom you can inspire.