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We are clapping for former Access to HE student Bethany

23rd April 2020 Date of publication

Former One Awards Access to HE Health student Bethany, who completed her Diploma at Redcar and Cleveland College talks about her experiences working as a staff nurse on the front line and shares her stay at home message to all.

Hearing neighbours clap for the NHS was an emotional moment for former Redcar and Cleveland College student Bethany.

A staff nurse at the James Cook University Hospital, she doesn’t consider herself a hero.

But, she said, to have the work of her and her colleagues recognised in this way really felt quite special.

“This is our job and it’s what we do everyday,” said the 25-year-old from Eston. Becoming a nurse has been her ambition since school and one she has worked hard to achieve.

But there’s no denying these are testing times for all NHS staff and for them working life must have rarely been quite so demanding.

Working in A&E at the hospital, Bethany is quite literally at the front line. She sees the reality of Covid 19 and its effects every day.

“It helps that I am part of a really good team from the cleaners to the consultants,” she said. “We get each other through and take it day by day.”

Of course she said it’s scary, these are difficult times for everyone. But with an air of optimism, she said: “You have to remind yourself that this is not going to last forever.”

Regularly having to wear full PPE for the first time in her career, she said, it is hot and uncomfortable, the masks pinch and you have to change between every patient. It’s probably not what she envisioned when she started her training as an Access to Higher Education Health student at Redcar and Cleveland College in 2014.

However she said: “I think I speak for the majority of my colleagues when I say, I’m glad that I’m able to help.”

Just one year after graduating from Teesside University, Bethany is helping fight a battle she could never have anticipated.

While the demands of working life are tough at the moment and she fears bringing the virus home to her family, she said she has no regrets about her career choice.

Doing her best to avoid the news at home, after all she said, “I see it firsthand every day for 12 hours”, her message to all is to please stay at home and follow government guidelines.

She said: “We have people at work who, if they have high risk family members, are having to move out of their family homes. If they can make that sacrifice, then surely others can stay in their house, it isn’t asking a lot.

“I understand it’s frustrating, it’s hard for everyone, but the more people follow the rules the quicker this will end.

“Stay at home, wash your hands, abide by social distancing and follow government guidelines. People are not being asked to go to war, or to stand in front of a bullet, they are being asked to stay at home.”

Fabienne Bailey Managing Director at One Awards commented "We are so proud of all our former and current Access to HE Health Diploma students doing their bit to help save lives on the front line."

To find out more about study routes into careers in health care for adult learners through an Access to HE Diploma visit: https://www.oneawards.org.uk/access-to-he/ahe-inf...

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