Guest Blogs

Our first guest blog comes from IzzysBusy, a small charity trying to raise awareness about what cerebral palsy is and what it isn’t. Rick has been coming to speak to student nurses at Salford University and here he shares his thoughts:

Thanks for asking me to contribute to the blog, it’s great to see how it is taking off and gaining followers amongst the students at Salford University.

Way back (well a year ago!) I remember emailing the head of the school of nursing asking if she would like any input from Izzysbusy.  It was a ‘cold’ email with no intro via another route, the hardest type.  Thankfully, Alison Cavanagh engaged with the thread of emails and invited me to deliver a session and from there I’ve been back about 5 or 6 times speaking to all year groups I think, in both child branch and full year group sessions.

So, why so we do it? Well, for us as a charity, the opportunity to talk to nursing students is absolutely fantastic ; we are hopefully talking to you all at a stage where you’re receptive to listening and also at a stage in your careers where you have the time and opportunity to reflect on what I’m saying.  Whatever you take away from the sessions, be it messages for the future or ‘I’m glad he’s shut up now’ I can’t think of a better time to give our input.

Anyone who’s been in the sessions will know it’s a mix of our experiences as parents of a little dude who has CP, and some input about making the difference and tips.  In an hour, or slightly more, it’s an opportunity to make an impact; I want all of you to go away from the session knowing a few core messages :

Firstly, nurses are amazing.  I don’t say that flippantly, if you’d asked me perhaps 5 years ago I’d have been a bit ‘meh’ about it but no longer..! Nurses (and the odd Dr) were Isaac’s main carers for 4 months of his life ; entrusting your most treasured thing to others is hard when they’re so unwell but the nurses that looked after Isaac were overwhelmingly brilliant.  The ones that let the side down, I can tell you how and you won’t make the same mistakes.

Secondly ; the 6C’s matter.  I may not refer to them directly in the session but the theme hopefully is there.  Over the sessions I give examples of each, I just hope it grounds what you’re learning in real experiences. There’s loads more about my angle on the 6C’s on too.

Thirdly, social workers talk rubbish…no, I’m being facetious ; I’m a social worker, and I know nothing about nursing but I know what caring for a  child with complex disabilities is and I know what complexities working as part of a ‘bigger system’ creates from my day job managing in social care. If you can benefit from that, it’s brilliant.

Fourthly, you can control what you put in.  The old 1% things from my talks, if you put the extra 1% in, it feels like more than 1% better to the person you’re looking after.

What I have seen is that Salford Uni is a hotbed of students who want to make that 1% difference, never have I picked up the ‘cant be bothered’ vibe so it’s either well hidden or not there, I know it’s the latter.  As a little charity we’ll always be there for Salford Uni and it’ll always be free to access us, the payment is in the legacy the sessions create in future nursing careers.

Our second guest blog comes from Karen Dawber, Executive Director at Warrington and Halton NHS Trust. Karen was a student nurse at Salford University, and in her blog, she describes her experience as a student nurse. She invites you to read her blog here and welcomes any comments.

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