Two students from Robert Gordon University’s (RGU) School of Nursing and Midwifery recently attended a special event in London to celebrate the life and legacy of Florence Nightingale.
Adult Nursing student Elaine MacGregor and Midwifery student Hannah McCluskey attended the Florence Nightingale Foundation 2016 Students’ Day which took place at St Thomas' Hospital in London on Wednesday, May 11.
RGU’s School of Nursing and Midwifery funded Elaine and Hannah’s travel and accommodation to attend the event which commemorated the life and work of the world famous nurse.
The event took place the day before International Nurse’s Day on Friday May 12, Florence Nightingale’s birthday.
It began with a team exercise where students were required to consider different topics such as clinical leadership and research. Attendees then came up with questions and presented them to a panel of healthcare professionals.
Hannah said: “It was a very interesting morning at the panel, it really emphasised our ability to promote change even as students.
“One of the highlights for me was discussing perinatal mental health; it really showed that it is an issue all professionals need to understand, not just midwives.”
Elaine was surprised by the difference in NHS boards across the UK but is proud to be a part of the Scottish NHS. She said: “I feel that Scotland leads the way in terms of the NHS service and the university education we provide as a country.
“It was interesting to see that students and staff from other countries wear completely different uniforms. In Scotland we are required to wear a uniform, which I believe is a positive thing as it makes us easily identifiable to patients and their families.”
Students were given the opportunity to experience a variety of activities in relation to the work of Florence Nightingale. They were able to take a tour of the Florence Nightingale Museum, view a screening of ‘Florence Nightingale: Her Life & Legacy’, and visit The Florence Nightingale Chapel.
Both students felt inspired by the world famous nurse after learning more about her work and dedication to care.
Elaine said: “Florence Nightingale revolutionised the standard of care delivered to patients and dedicated her life to this. I felt honoured, privileged and humbled to be asked to attend this fantastic experience.”
The students were also able to attend the Golden Jubilee Commemoration Service at Westminster Abbey. The service included a procession of the lamp which is carried by a Florence Nightingale scholar, who then passes it to others to represent the passing on of knowledge.
Elaine said: “This was the highlight of my day, the atmosphere was truly electric. I found myself becoming very emotional, I couldn’t believe I was fortunate enough to attend such an occasion.”
Hannah added: “The service was beautiful; it signified all of Florence Nightingale's work and our shared passion for care. It was a privilege to be there and I will remember it for the rest of my life.”
Rebecca LewisCommunications Office Placement Student