Danielle Harrison, Children and Young People’s student nurse
During the second year of my ’Nursing Degree’, I became aware of a documentary following the lives of student nurses via Salford University’s virtual learning environment – Blackboard. Initially I thought ‘what a brilliant and exciting opportunity’. However as much as I wanted to put myself forward for it, I was also very nervous about the prospect of being chosen and even more so about being on primetime TV representing student nurses.
Towards the end of the closing day, I plucked up the courage and filled the application out and with much debate finally pressed the send button. Following this I almost forgot about sending in the application at all (or more likely thought I would not have been chosen). Much to my surprise, I received an email asking me to come along to an interview as I had made it through the first stage of the application process. I was extremely nervous however, but excited that I had been chosen so with encouraging words from family and friends I went along as planned to the interview.
When I arrived, I walked into a room with a camera set up and the nerves suddenly increased. I was reassured that the sole purpose was to see how I come across on camera and that I would forget it was there. Surprisingly I did soon after the interview began as the questions which were asked were so personal they provoked an emotive and passionate response. I walked out of the interview even more determined and passionate about nursing as I had talked so deeply about my love for nursing and also where it had started which was through my son who had had contact with the nursing profession due to his medical condition- Cerebral Palsy. We also covered the recent journey I had been on with fundraising for a life changing operation not readily available on the NHS for my son; this brought back so many memories and emotions, such as my greatest respect for the Great British Public.
Subsequently I received a phone call to tell me I had been chosen, out of all those interviewed, as one of the eight student nurses from Salford University. I felt so proud that had been chosen to represent student nurses, and more specifically Children and Young People’s (CYP) nursing at Salford University. I was still however apprehensive but was sure my nerves would not prevent my involvement in such a privileged opportunity.
My first day filming was not as bad as I thought. The production team were so nice and personable and made me feel at ease pretty much straight away. The first day was at my home with my son and captured a normal day in the life of me: studying, a trip to the park and physio with my son. I was then filmed in University, including the simulation lab and then for two days on placement. My placement area was with the Health Visiting Team which unfortunately was not really what the team wanted to capture. Therefore I was filmed on a spoke placement with District Nurses to gain some clinical exposure and provide some hands on footage for the documentary.
At the end of filming, I was so proud of my courage and was even happier a fellow student from my cohort was also taking part -I felt less alone. I was asked by many students “why did you choose to take part”. My reply was because I wanted to be involved in representing student nurses and to hopefully change the perception of nurses and if I could just change the perception of one person that would be enough. It had been difficult at times when the nursing profession received so much negative media attention when I knew how brilliant the majority of those were that I had met on this journey to becoming qualified. To encompass the 6Cs in my practice I must have courage and what better way than to test this out. I also felt it was important to be an example that even with other responsibilities such as my son and his condition; you can achieve your dream if you are passionate and determined enough to do so. I feel it is important to show my son that if you want something in life you can achieve it if you work hard enough and do not give up!!!
Months had passed and it was almost time for the documentary to be aired and the nerves once again returned. We didn’t get to view it beforehand which was even more nerve wracking. I enjoyed watching each week which I thought represented nursing in a true light. It was finally my turn and I was on my last shift of placement 8 of 9 and finishing at 9pm. The documentary was on at 8-8.30pm so I was even more nervous as I was dreading walking in a patient’s room and me being on the TV. I had just taken a patients cannula out and as I left their room, I was met with very excited staff members “you’re on the telly” everyone is watching you in there. Following this, a parent came rushing down the ward “My brother has just called me and says you’re on TV”. By this time I had still not seen it but I was a star on the ward. Haha 
After saying my goodbyes to everyone, I finally left after a very long day and had numerous text messages, Facebook notifications and Tweets which were exciting and overwhelming. When I arrived home I sat down with my mum and watched my TV debut at last and was happy with how I come across. However after about a week of my son playing the clip of myself (and him) what seemed like continuously I wished to never hear my voice again!!
A week later I was once again excited as I become aware I had appeared on Gogglebox which is one of my favourite programmes to watch at the moment (obviously when I’m not studying) 😉
Overall I am so grateful for @twofourtweets” and @ITV for choosing me and have thoroughly enjoyed every step of the journey. Furthermore I am privileged to be a student nurse and more so to be studying at Salford. I have since been invited to the @VCSalford  University of Salford Vice Chancellor’s house to celebrate the documentary which was the most surprising of all.

Abubaker Suleman on bedpans and bandages

A Reflective Account- Abubaker Suleman, Children and Young People’s student nurse

Lights, Camera and Action! This certainly wouldn’t have been my area of comfort dating back to 3 years ago. As a shy individual, I have always liked to keep myself out of the centre of the attention and quietly observe. As a Nurse it is an essential element that you are able to communicate effectively and break out of that shy persona. Although I had been working on this since the start of my Nurses education, it was still something that I felt that I need to work further on. Surprisingly that is when the opportunity to do a TV documentary on Student nurses came along!
At first I thought to myself how on earth will I ever be able to do this?! But then I thought to myself that this is a great opportunity which will help me achieve a lot of the things that I aim to achieve. As a person, I am ambitious about making positive changes, which was one of the reasons for entering the profession. It then crossed my mind that the public do not really have awareness about what it is that student Nurses do, in addition to this I have often heard from non-nursing friends saying that Nursing is easy and anybody can do it. However this is not the case and I wanted to change this perception and took up the opportunity to star in the documentary. Also I thought being a shy person to be in front of the camera will help to boost my confidence and also enhance my communication skills.
The experience overall was fantastic and a lot better than what I had anticipated. I predicted that I may possibly feel overwhelmed by it and not continue. However it felt great being able to prove myself wrong for all the right reasons. It is really good to see that my confidence has increased and I have grown as a person on a both personal and professional level. This fact has been further reinforced by friends and families.
I hope that the documentary proves to be one that helps to change negative perceptions that people may hold and demonstrate how hard Student Nurses work in order to be a compassionate qualified practitioner.

Amanda Miller discusses Bedpans and Bandages from the lecturer perspective

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

Reflections on #bedpansandbandages – Student Nurse Graham Bennett

Graham Bennett, @nursingSUni student nurse reflects on his time being filmed for #bedpansandbandages.

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 makeup 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 was 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 CCUunit 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.

Graham Bennett

Student Nurses: Bedpans and Bandages

Well, its nearly here…Friday night 8pm ITV1 Student Nurses, Bedpans and Bandages. I think its safe to say we are all excited to see the programme aired. We are incredibly proud of our students and already they have proven to be ambassadors for The University of Salford. Some our students have taken part in TV and magazine interviews and today Britain’s Nurses have published their own review of the first 2 episodes with very positive feedback. So along with the chocolates and roses this Valentines Day, catch up with our amazing student nurses for a glimpse of life as a student nurse.