Cadets take part in nursing scheme

July 18, 2023

Cadets from Angus and Dundee Battalion Army Cadet Force have taken part in the Royal College of Nursing’s Prince of Wales Nursing Cadet Scheme.

This is designed to give 16 to 25-year-old members of youth organisations an introduction to potential careers in nursing and health and social care, through healthcare-related learning modules and a clinical observation placement.  

NHS Tayside was delighted to be invited to host the pilot and provide work experience opportunities for young people from the ACF. 

Seven participants took the opportunity to gain a valuable insight into the world of healthcare. The wards and departments who provided the placements, within both the Dundee and Angus locality were:

  • Learning Disability Assessment Unit at Carseview Centre, Dundee.
  • Theatres, Ninewells Hospital, Dundee.
  • Ward 12 (General Surgery), Ninewells Hospital.
  • Ward 25 (Ophthalmology), Ninewells Hospital.
  • Ward 26 (Ear, Nose and Throat), Ninewells Hospital.
  • Outpatient Department, Arbroath Infirmary.
  • Clova/Isla Wards, Whitehills Health & Community Care Centre, Forfar.

Feedback from both the young people and their mentors was very positive. From their time and experience on placement, some of the young people have decided on their potential future career plans and others took time to find out about the possibility of volunteering within NHS Tayside.

ACF student in a chair.
Lyra Dye

ACF Student Lyra Dye was mentored by Senior Charge Nurse Graeme Devine at the Learning Disability Assessment Unit at the Carseview Centre in Dundee.

Lyra said: “There were great staff and patient relationships. It feels like being part of a big team. I have learned a lot that I could not have learnt from textbooks. I feel inspired to pursue a possible career in Learning Disabilities.”

Graeme added: “It’s always great to be involved in a new initiative that could provide Learning Disability nurses of the future. Finding new ways to showcase the skills, competencies and personality required to provide person-centred care to a group of people with complex care needs is rewarding. Lyra has shown these qualities in a very short time frame, which says a lot about her. I imagine it can certainly be daunting for a young person to turn up to a busy ward on day one. Lyra very quickly demonstrated an understanding of the people we provide care for and the challenges associated with this. The LDAU team were impressed with Lyra and how she presented herself, she is a credit to herself and the ACF. We hope to see her back soon.”

ACF student.
Shirley-Ann Leslie.

ACF Student Shirley-Anne Leslie was given training at the Clova/Isla Wards, Whitehills Health and Community Care Centre, Forfar.

She said: “This has been a fantastic opportunity to see what is entailed in this line of work. I have learned loads and have applied for a job here as OT assistant as a result of this opportunity!”

ACF Student Matthew Mitchell was mentored by Senior Charge Nurse Stella Digba, Ward 26, (Ear, Nose and Throat) at Ninewells Hospital.

ACF Student.
Matthew Mitchell.

Matthew said: “I have had a fantastic time on Ward 26. The team made me feel very welcome and I don’t think I could have been in a better team. I have been given the opportunity to do things I never thought I would be able to do. I have had a great time communicating with patients, making beds and making endless cups of tea.”

Stella said: “It has been great having Matthew on Ward 26. Matthew was keen to learn and has learnt new skills which he is using on the ward. The staff and patients were delighted to have him on the team.”

ACF student.
Phoenix Ross.

ACF Student Phoenix Ross was mentored by Charge Nurse Tina Porter on Ward 12 (General Surgery) at Ninewells Hospital.

Phoenix said: “Since coming on the ward thinking it was going to be easy, it was very chaotic and hands on. With having help from the nurses and healthcare assistants, they have kept me on track and taught me new skills. This placement opportunity has given me ideas of being a nurse or paramedic in the future.”

Tina added: “Working with Phoenix over the last three days has been amazing. She has done a brilliant job with her patients and she is willing to help with the team. For example, helping with patient hygiene needs. Phoenix has proven herself to be a team player and willing to learn new experiences.”

ACF student.
Breannan Stewart.

ACF Student Breannan Stewart was mentored by Charge Nurse Debbie Laing, Ward 25 (Ophthalmology) at Ninewells Hospital.

Breannan said: “On my first day I was nervous, but I was very quickly welcomed by the team in Ward 25. Being on placement has boosted my confidence and I have gained many new skills. I have been given the opportunity to undertake observations and enhance my communication skills. This opportunity has given me the determination to pursue a career in nursing.”

Debbie said: “Ward 25 (Ophthalmology) was delighted to be asked to be involved in this new and exciting pilot. It has been a pleasure having Breannan working with the team on Ward 25 and she has been a credit to the ACF. Whilst on placement, Breannan’s communication skills have increased and she has grown in confidence. Breannan has learnt many new transferable skills that can be used to further a career in nursing.”

ACF student.
Kyle Whitton.

ACF Student Kyle Whitton was trained at the Outpatient Department at Arbroath Infirmary.

Kyle said: “This has been absolutely fascinating and I have loved every minute of it! I have seen lots of interesting things happening and I am happy to consider a career in healthcare should my original plans not come to fruition”

ACF student with two members of hospital staff.
Callum Wilson.

ACF Student Callum Wilson was mentored by Scott Murray, Senior Nurse, Theatre Services, Ninewells Hospital.

Callum said: “I feel that the three days I spent in theatre were some of the most interesting days of my life.”

Iona Sharp, Registered Nurse, Theatre Services, Ninewells Hospital said: “Exposure to the inner workings of theatres has the potential to create well-driven and empathetic future practitioners, the exposure/induction days have given the young people experience to reflect on, and to incentivise them to follow a healthcare practitioner career path.”

ACF Commandant
Colonel Scott Dunn.

Colonel Scott Dunn ACF, Commandant of Angus & Dundee Battalion Army Cadet Force, said: “I am hugely grateful for the enthusiastic support NHS Tayside has given in providing placements for each of the participants of the scheme. I wish to thank all those in the clinical areas that have spent time with the students ensuring their experiences of careers in healthcare have been positive. Feedback from the young people has been very positive and they are very grateful for the opportunities NHS Tayside has given them.”

Army Cadets logo.