Eight healthcare students from the University of Bedfordshire have been recognised by patients, or the loved ones of patients, for their extraordinary care.
The university presented the first ‘I CARE’ awards to students who were nominated for going ‘above and beyond’ whilst on placements at either Luton and Dunstable, Bedford or High Wycombe hospitals.
Each of the undergraduates were given a badge to wear on their uniforms and Marcia Ogunji, senior lecturer in midwifery practice and I CARE project manager, said they should wear these with pride.
“I CARE is a celebration of how these wonderful individuals have delivered care at the bedside to a service user who has been in a moment of vulnerability, where they needed someone to understand – perhaps with grace and humour,” she said.
“This is a celebration and a chance to say thank you to the students. These badges are exclusive and are a sign of a person whose care has gone beyond the ‘everyday’.”
One of the students recognised was Sandy Horsley.
Sandy was a graphic designer before she decided to study adult nursing after seeing the pressure nurses were under when her husband fell ill.
The Bedford resident, who is graduating in March, said: “After my husband recovered, I came away feeling empty, like there was something more I should be doing.
“That’s when I knew what the right career for me was. I came in with open eyes and an open heart with just the aim of doing the best I can do. I just wanted to ensure that I didn’t want anyone to feel alone and that someone cares. For me to be recognised means I must be doing something right. I’m really proud that someone took the time to praise me.”
Dr Barbara Burden, head of the department of health care at Bedfordshire, said: “I’m delighted to see the feedback about these fantastic students.
“These students are real exemplars of care, and are really good ambassadors for this University and for the NHS. I’m sure they will go away and instil their passion for care on others and this will further enhance and drive forward the NHS.”
Chief nurse at Luton and Dunstable Hospital Pat Reid said: “It is fantastic to see eight amazing, caring students who went above and beyond what is expected of them. It’s a very positive start to what I hope will be a long and successful career in the NHS. Student nurses contribute so much to a patients’ care and it is fitting that the University are acknowledging high performance with these I care awards.”
The initiative - launched in June - rewards students who have been empathic, compassionate, respectful, and prepared to escalate any concerns appropriately with advocacy.
Nomination slips can be found in the hospitals connected with the University of Bedfordshire or by emailing the student’s name and area where they cared for you to firstname.lastname@example.org.