Camelot Care has teamed up Plymouth University to offer nine-week training placements to nursing students.
Forty-six-year-old mature student Julie Cooney (pictured) is the first trainee under the scheme at specialist dementia care home Camelot Lodge.
Julie said: “Nursing has been my life-long ambition. Before I enrolled on my university course, I worked for two years at our local doctors’ surgery in the Teign Valley. I started off as a phlebotomist and then once I’d settled in and told them what I was hoping to do, they trained me to become a health care assistant.
“My first week of placement at Camelot Lodge was quite an eye-opener. Working in a nursing home is very different from learning about nursing in the lecture theatre. But now I think it’s the biggest privilege to be entrusted with the well-being of so many vulnerable people, and I’m getting fantastic support from my mentor at Camelot House.”
Joanne Gold, practice placement development lead for Somerset, added: “A placement like this gives our students a fantastic insight into multi-professional teamwork within healthcare, and demonstrates that nursing is not just about the ‘doing’, but also about the thinking, reflection and provision of evidence, teaching them to provide a safe and positive experience of caring.”
Camelot Care’s operations manager, Clare Woodhead, said: “Our homes provide very valuable learning opportunities in an innovative and dynamic environment, and we are delighted to be in the forefront among local dementia care providers in offering a student placements of this kind.”
The demand for specialist nurses is set to rise, because according to the Alzheimer’s Society there are 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, with numbers likely to exceed one million by 2025.
For further information on Camelot Care visit: www.camelotcare.co.uk