Bedpans and Bandages

Bedpans and bandages is an ITV  series that offers an insight into what it takes to become a nurse in the 21st century. There are 8 episodes following the lives of student nurses from the University of Salford and Birmingham City University. The series uncovers the motivation behind the student nurses’ dreams and showing the challenges they face on a daily basis juggling academic study with home life and work on the wards.


In this first post Graham Bennett (adult health student, March 2013 intake) reflects on his experience of the series

Last year I had the exciting experience of taking part in and being filmed for the ITV documentary ‘Student Nurses: Bedpans and Bandages’. Back in June 2013 I spotted the announcement on the University Blackboard site and thought that’s definitely something I would be interested in. It’s not every day you get the opportunity to be on the television and it looked like a really positive show looking into the lives of student nurses. I thought this would be a good opportunity to share my personal experiences and perhaps even inspire people to get involved with healthcare in the future. I also thought ‘what’s the worst that can happen?’ so, I expressed an interest and was provided an application form from ITV4, the production company, and proceeded to complete it. I submitted the form as requested and much to my surprise I received a call back from one of the production team 15 minutes later offering me an interview! The initial interview was held at the Mary Seacole building at the University and when I met the producer and entered the room it was a little like the big brother diary room. There was a small TV camera and a chair waiting for me and the interview was conducted from there. It took a few weeks to hear back, but a couple of weeks before I commenced my eight week placement over the summer; I received a call confirming I would be part of the show! When I arrived at my placement on Coronary Care Unit (CCU) at Royal Bolton Hospital I broke the news to my mentor and ward manager that I had been selected for the show and checked if it was OK with them to be filmed around the unit. At the time I think we all had visions in our heads of a large film crew with railway tracks, snapper boards, floodlights and make-up all over the unit. We thought that would be following me round from the second I woke up until I went to bed. In fact it turned out to be quite the opposite. The team were fantastic and filming was performed very discreetly with just a two person crew and a handheld HD video camera and small radio microphones. To be honest you barely noticed the crew were there for most of the filming as they blended in to the background really giving it a ‘fly on the wall’ feel to the experience.  Although there is always activity happening in and around the CCU we were not filmed all the time and nobody was filmed without consent. After every day of filming we took time out to reflect and do a small interview to answer questions about the day. This was really interesting as I had no prior warning as to what questions would be asked and really had to think on my feet. However, I enjoyed this as it was a really good test of my knowledge and experience. There was a large amount of footage taken including most aspects of my life, in hospital, at university, in my home, performing with my band and out doing my volunteer work with St John Ambulance. I even had a four hour long ‘master interview’ we could have gone on and on and filmed more but we ran out of time. Overall, I found taking part in the documentary and the filming to be a very positive experience and I got a lot out of it. I am looking forward to seeing what footage has made the final cut, and I hope people enjoy the series as much as I have. There are a lot of fantastic nursing students and a great team of people contributing towards this series and I hope it is well received.


Amanda Miller discusses the perspective of a lecturer being filmed for Bedpans and Bandages: 

Last year I had heard a few whispers that nursing students from the University of Salford (@SalfordUni; @NursingSUni) had been chosen to be filmed for a new ITV documentary about their training. At this point little did I know that I would be part of this experience. However my initial thoughts were what a great opportunity this would be for Salford University and the students.

Once the filming had started the student experience lead for the School of Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work and Social Sciences (@levylass) contacted me by email asking if I was available to facilitate a session in the high fidelity simulation (HSF) laboratory. Being a keen and enthusiastic HFS facilitator I thought this was an excellent opportunity to demonstrate how students learn from simulation. Simulation in nurse education is not a new concept and is widely recognised as a form of pedagogyThe Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) (2010) recognise that simulation can account for three hundred hours of practice which enables the student to develop skills in a safe environment and yet still attempt to mimic reality (Wilford and Doyle, 2006). All pre-registration students @NursingSUni will experience simulation during their programme and in particular will engage with mannequins that can talk, breathe, sweat and bleed, namely high fidelity simulation.

It was agreed that @Asuleman11 and @DanielleHarriso would be participate in a short clinical scenario using HFS. I would be facilitating the scenario alongside @Lgreene68 in the control room and @wlasinclair role playing the mother of Jake (the HFS mannequin). It was important (as with all HFS sessions) that the students were prepared prior to going into the laboratory. They were given a brief outline about the way the scenario would run and what the learning outcomes were. They were then taken into the laboratory and the clinical simulated scenario ran as planned. We performed a debriefing at the end which is a crucial part of HFS. I was then interviewed by the crew about how I thought the students had performed. The whole process was filmed and having seen the edited version as I was pleased with how well it flowed and appeared on the television.

Although I consider myself an experienced and competent facilitator of HFS I was somewhat anxious prior to the filming. I had envisaged a vast amount of equipment, big furry microphones and numerous takes to ‘get it right’. However it was nothing like that at all…rather it was informal and the scene and equipment were far from cumbersome. There was a small handheld video recorder and just two crew. The filming seemed very succinct and organised and there was no requirement for rehearsals or retakes. As soon as I realised this and had met the friendly crew then I relaxed. I was still slightly apprehensive about my own performance. I was conscious that I was representing the University from an academic perspective and as a lecturer I wanted to ensure that I was a credit to the University and the students. I hope I did not disappoint. I thoroughly enjoyed being involved in this experience and if they come back for more filming will I put my hand up again…? Indeed I will.


Nursing Midwifery Council (2010) Standards for pre-registration nursing education. NMC: London

Wilford, A, Doyle, T (2006) Integrating simulation training into the nursing curriculum. British Journal of Nursing 15(17) p 926-9


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