Western Isles Medical Practice hosts first formal nurse placement

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Langabhat Medical Practice in Lewis has become one of the first GP practices in Scotland to host undergraduate nursing students for formal placements.

Placements commenced recently, when students based at the University of Stirling’s Western Isles campus came to work with members of the practice nursing team.

Rather than the usual ‘insight’ visits that student nurses get when they visit a GP practice - where students would shadow the practice nurse for the odd day to get an overview of how practice nurses work - students were allocated an eight-week placement within the practice nursing team’s anticipatory care rotation.

This enabled the students to discuss and develop their learning needs much more fully, whilst also enhancing their practical skills and knowledge.

Kim Thomson, one of the student nurses who participated in a placement, was overwhelmingly positive about the experience. She commented: “This is an excellent placement for student nurses as you see a wide range of conditions and work with an array of different patients and their families.”

Kim stressed that the placement was instrumental in enhancing her clinical skills and knowledge of caring for patients with chronic conditions, as well as allowing her to experience dealing with emergency situations in primary care.

Jane Macaulay, Lead Practice Nurse at Langabhat Medical Practice highlighted the benefits for the practice team of mentoring pre-registration nursing students, as it facilitates valuable mutual learning opportunities.

Gill McCannon, Teaching Fellow/Practice Learning Coordinator in the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health, University of Stirling, and Tamsin Smith, Practice Education Facilitator for NHS Western Isles, were both delighted to extend the anticipatory care placement to include experience within Langabhat Medical Practice, as it enables students to experience a wide range of nurse-led activities together with collaborative team working within a remote and rural environment.

Langabhat Medical Practice is a well established training practice, which successfully supports the learning of Medical Students, GP trainees and Nurse Independent Prescribing students.

Tamsin commented: “It is thanks to the forward thinking and open attitude of both the practice nursing team and the GPs at Langabhat that this new and exciting placement opportunity has been afforded to the students from the University of Stirling.”