Schools join nurses for UWS event

Pupils experienced the challenge of feeding others and of being fed as they participated in The Roles of a Nurse workshop led by NHS Dumfries and Galloway
Pupils experienced the challenge of feeding others and of being fed as they participated in The Roles of a Nurse workshop led by NHS Dumfries and Galloway

University of the West of Scotland (UWS) recently hosted its annual nursing event for local schools in association with NHS Dumfries and Galloway.

The event took place in Browne House at the University’s Dumfries Campus and was attended by 65 pupils from 14 regional schools including Annan Academy, Castle Douglas High School, Dalbeattie High School, Dumfries Academy, Dumfries High School, Douglas Ewart High School, Kirkcudbright Academy, Langholm Academy, Maxwelltown High School, Moffat Academy, St Joseph’s College, Sanquhar Academy, Stranraer Academy and Wallace Hall Academy.

This annual event provides senior school pupils in Dumfries and Galloway with the opportunity to attend the university for a day and to hear first-hand from nursing lecturers, NHS practitioners and nursing students about degree programmes in Adult Nursing and Mental Health Nursing offered locally at the Dumfries Campus and about the wide variety of career pathways available to nurses.

During the day, pupils participated in 6 workshops. Two of the workshops; The Roles of a Nurse led by NHS Dumfries and Galloway and Preparing for a career in nursing led by UWS Adult Nursing lecturers Mandy Maxwell and Heather Solley, were designed to raise awareness of the various roles nurses have in a range of care settings and to encourage pupils to think about the skills and attributes required to be a nurse.

A third workshop Trauma and Basic Life Support took place in the university’s clinical skills ward and was delivered by Mark Molesworth, Adult Nursing Lecturer and supported by UWS nursing students. During this workshop pupils experienced a trauma scenario to illustrate the challenges of working in a busy ward including conflicting priorities and the need for effective communication.

Further practical skills were demonstrated and practised in the Wound Care workshop led by UWS Skills Facilitator Denise Atkinson, UWS Campus Director Dr Shirley Turberville and recent graduate Jane Swanston.

Pupils also participated in an interactive Health Improvement workshop led by the UWS Physical Exercise Champions team involving both UWS nursing students and Adult Nursing Lecturers Julie Orr and Sue McGrouther. During this session the importance of physical fitness, healthy lifestyles and teamwork was discussed and the impact these factors have on the role of a nurse both as role models and in disease prevention and health promotion.

Pupils also enjoyed a tour of the university’s Domus Room which is a training facility set up on campus to illustrate the many practical adjustments and support aids that are available to support people living with Dementia. Mental Health Nursing lecturer Lara Mathews led this session along with a UWS Mental Health Nursing student.

The day ended with an overview of local study options and a short presentation from existing nursing students who started their nursing career by completing the First Steps to Nursing module at UWS.

Adults or school/college leavers interested in pursuing a career in nursing are invited to come along to the UWS Information Session in Dudgeon House on Wednesday 13th May anytime from 4-7pm or to call 01387 345845 or email:

Advisors will be available to discuss full and part-time study options, entry requirements, funding and student support. Study options at UWS in Dumfries include: Adult Nursing, Mental Health Nursing, Health Studies, Alcohol and Drug Studies, Business, Applied Enterprise, Computing, IT, Childhood Studies/Practice and Social Work. Applications are now being accepted for full-time degree courses and part-time funded summer study modules including First Steps to Nursing, Wound Management, Pain Management, Leading in Health and Social Care, Events, advanced Managing Public Services and Marketing for Managers as well as introductory Summer Schools in both Business and Computing (supported by The Crichton Foundation). Additional taught and online postgraduate courses are also available including Health Studies, Later Life Studies and Working With Older People.