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University and NHS join forces to deliver life support training to nursing students

University of Gloucestershire has joined forces with the Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to deliver trauma and life support training to nursing students alongside emergency consultants and senior nurses.

Nine students from the University’s Nursing, Paramedic Science, Operating Department Practice, and Diagnostic Radiography programmes and 10 nurses from the NHS in Gloucestershire took part in a varied range of simulation-based activities providing an authentic representation of complex real-life clinical scenarios.

The pilot Trauma Immediate Life Support (TILS) course – the first of its kind in Gloucestershire delivered in collaboration by the University and the NHS – also included a range of lectures and skills workshops, supported by experience healthcare professionals from different fields, aimed at enhancing learning and practice.

The students were active participants in a range of patient-focused simulations covering the immediate management of severe burns, pelvic and chest injuries, and trauma assessments in pregnancy and the older patient.

They observed emergency surgical procedures including chest drains, surgical airway insertion and thoracotomy. Realistic wounds had been applied to the University’s advanced manikins, which have real pulses and simulated breathing, helping the scenarios replicate the real-life situations students may encounter in practice.

All students also got hands-on with skill stations including intraosseous cannulation (insertion of a needle into a bone to deliver medications), traction splint application to stabilise injured limbs, and spinal immobilisation to minimise movement and prevent potential spinal cord damage.

The University’s Diagnostic Radiography course was ranked number one nationally for academic support in the 2023 National Student Survey, scoring 100%, and scored 98% for teaching, while Paramedic Science scored more than 95% for teaching.

Simon Kersey, Skills and Simulation Lead at the University, said: “The two-day programme provided our undergraduate students with a fantastic opportunity to develop their trauma skills alongside experienced NHS colleagues, many of whom they will be working with after graduation.

“Simulation-based activities are an excellent way for students from multiple professions to practice their skills and learn together in a realistic but safe and supportive environment.

“The scenarios for the Trauma Immediate Life Support course were fast paced and challenging to enable our students to build on the skills and knowledge they had gained from their respective degree programmes.

“The feedback from those who took part has been incredibly positive, and we plan to host further courses over the coming months.”

Earlier this year, hundreds of University students gained specialist skills and experience alongside members of the emergency services when they took part in a large-scale simulated incident response.