Training the healthcare heroes of the future

Ruth Peterson | June 22, 2020

22 June 2020

They come from all walks of life, but the students on a nursing and midwifery course at Bradford College share one thing – a dedication to the future health and wellbeing of Bradford’s population.

Baby lying on a blanket nursing and midwifery
Training people to care for the future generation

More than 50 students took part in the Access to Higher Education in Nursing and Midwifery course. This programme prepares people hoping to work on the health care front line, take the next step in their studies, and join the workforce of the future. It is available online and in the classroom.

Hard work and dedication required

Associate Lecturer for Nursing and Midwifery Marianna Edwards said: “This is one of our most popular courses. It requires hard work and dedication, but by the time you finish our course you will be a holistic health practitioner.”

The Access to HE Nursing and Midwifery Diploma is designed to bridge the gap between GCSEs and studying at degree level. In one academic year students cover a wide range of subjects including Biology, Chemistry, Sociology, Social Policy and Psychology.

Students on the course, aged 19 or over, often then go on to study at degree level. They are then employed by healthcare organisations, such as Bradford Royal Infirmary, St Luke’s or Airedale Hospital. 

New BSc course in Adult Nursing

In September 2020,  Bradford College is hosting a new BSc course in Adult Nursing validated by Bolton University. For one year only there are 30 places in September 2020. This will be followed in future years with a mid-year April start. The College will also be running a fast track Access to Nursing and Midwifery for students that wish to apply (Sep 2020- March 2021).

There is a good mix of people who want to go into nursing and those who want to go into midwifery. That said, the students’ commitment to their chosen path remains constant during their time at Bradford College. Marianna said: “They are all very focused on where they want to go”.

A demanding but rewarding career

“The course is demanding, but the reward of moving towards a career in healthcare, and supporting people during important moments in their lives, is well worth the reward.”

Marianna added: “Our students, by nature, put other people first, are caring and respectful. They know the communities they’re going to be working in, and the various challenges and issues that people living in a diverse and complex city, such as Bradford, face. They’re still committed, they’re still doing it.”

A close-knit group despite Covid-19 restrictions

The Covid-19 pandemic provided an extra challenge for this year’s students because lockdown meant teaching and learning had to quickly move from classroom and community-based teaching to online. However, digital platforms, such as Microsoft Teams, has enabled the students to remain tight-knit.

“We’ve got some students that live at home, but a lot of them have a partner and small children at home. For them, that’s the biggest distraction – their home environment gets in the way.”

“I’ve seen students bloom”

Yet none of this has stopped the students’ determination to succeed. Marianna said: “I’ve seen them bloom. Some of my students come to the course very insecure as hey don’t want to talk or do presentations. However, we say the first thing they have to learn is talk to people. Their self-esteem develops through this course.

“All these people already have work and family commitments and they’re fitting their studies around all of that. So in my book, they’re incredible.”

What the students say

Gay Walters said:  “My learning journey was eye-opening. The more involved I got in the modules the more socially aware I became.

“I have learned that in order to be effective in my job I need to put away any pre-conceived ideas. This included the stigma associated with mental ill health, as this can affect anyone at any time. ‘There is no health without mental health’. Most importantly I learned that effective communication is vital when working as a team.”

Teaching takes me to new level of confidence

Idowu Olorunbumi said: “I am so grateful to have Marianna as a tutor in Bradford College. The teaching takes me to another level of confidence to follow up my course.  I have learned many things in communication, and especially the ability to share our ideas, express our needs.”

Maryam Ogunbiyi said: “I have learnt about using the right legislation and code of conduct while working in health and social care settings. I have gained an understanding of how the Care Quality Commission regulates all health and social care services in England.

“Overall, I have thoroughly understood the responsibilities I hold as a future healthcare worker. I also have the necessary information that will aid my future career in nursing.”

About Access to HE at Bradford College

Bradford College offers Access to HE courses for students want to study and work in other professions. There is the Access to HE Allied Health Professions for those who want to go into Operating Department Practice, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Paramedic Science, Radiography or other health-related degrees. This course is available online and classroom based.The Access to HE Health and Social Care Professions supports people to progress to degrees in Social Work, Youth & Community Development, Health & Social Welfare, Counselling, Psychology & Community Settings, Childhood & Youth Studies and Social Nutrition & Health. This course is available online and classroom based. You can find out more about all the Access to Higher Education courses offered at Bradford College on the website.

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