Whiteley welcomes student nurse following university approval as a training facility

25th July 2019

The care team at Whiteley Homes Trust were delighted to welcome first year student nurse, Catherine Bangoura from the University of Surrey recently after the Trust was approved as a training facility for mentoring the university’s student nurses.

Catherine’s eight week placement is based at the Eliza Palmer Hub, the Village’s brand new care home, where supported by her mentor, Registered Nurse Ellen Collins, she is working alongside other nursing and care staff to look after its 30 residents. Catherine said: “The Hub is such a caring place and I’m really enjoying working here. I’m so grateful to my mentor and to all my colleagues for their advice and support.

“Whiteley is my second placement this year. My first was in a hospital and although I learned a lot, it was difficult to spend any quality time with patients. Although it’s very busy working here too, I do have the opportunity to get to know residents as individuals and develop a better understanding of their personal needs.”

One resident Catherine has become especially close to is Sheila Brewer, ”It’s important to me to make a difference, and I’m so happy to have been able to develop a special bond with Sheila”, said Catherine. “She’s always pleased to see me and that really makes my day, and I’d love to come back to work at Whiteley Village if there was a job available in the future!”

Ellen Collins said: “It has been a pleasure to mentor Catherine and I am sure she has appreciated the unfettered opportunity to observe, learn and develop and also enjoy time getting to know our residents. I am pleased she has recognised the importance of providing person-centred care and shows a natural affinity for caring for people holistically too. I hope Catherine preserves this passion as her training continues over the next two years and her clinical knowledge and skills develop. I wish her success with the rest of her nursing studies.”

The Trust’s approval as a recognised mentor by the University’s School of Health Sciences, not only benefits the organisation as an employer, but is also important for the wider care sector, say senior nursing staff at Whiteley.

Ethna Mertens, Clinical Governance & Safeguarding Lead at the Trust said: “These placements give us a valuable opportunity to showcase our *award-winning practice in older people’s care here at Whiteley Village, but also help us tackle misconceptions. Nurses can be reluctant to work in care homes when they qualify because many wrongly believe it offers a more limited opportunity to use their clinical skills, in comparison to a hospital.

“Catherine’s experience – and I hope that of the student nurses who follow her, will help us to change perceptions about nursing in care homes for the better and to highlight the broader range of experience and personal satisfaction this environment can offer. I was very pleased to hear Catherine would like to come back and work for us once she’s qualified – you can’t get a better recommendation than that!”

*The Whiteley Homes Trust won 2018 Platinum Award for the 4th year running from the National Gold Standards Framework Centre.

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