Regional Pupils Explore Possible Nursing and Midwife Careers First Hand

GROUPS of secondary school pupils from across the Dumfries and Galloway considering careers as nurses or midwives have been given first-hand experience of those professions.

A total of 27 fifth and sixth year students have been taking part in a special work experience programme, giving them a chance to see how a career within NHS Dumfries and Galloway provides a great opportunity to work, live and play.


Mhairi Hastings is Lead Nurse within Community Health and Social Care, and she said: “The programme was co-produced by NHS Dumfries and Galloway and the Employability and Skills team who work in partnership with Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Education Department.

The aim was to provide an introduction to the professions of nursing and midwifery. 
“And the programme covered topics which are key to these roles, such as time management skills, general working conditions and communications skills.”

Mhairi added: “We felt it was very important that these young people were given plenty of time to experience what it is like to perform these very important roles, as this would determine whether they want to pursue this field as their chosen career.

“And I’m very happy to say that, at the end of the programme, all 27 are still indicating their intention to pursue careers in nursing and midwifery.”

A half-day induction kicked off the week’s work experience, with four separate inductions in Annandale and Eskdale, Nithsdale, Stewarty and Wigtownshire so as to ensure equity for placements across the whole region.

The work experience students were provided with literature and some promotional materials from both the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and Unison.

And they were also supplied with handbooks and diaries for completion during their week’s work experience, allowing them to capture and reflect upon their experience as the week proceeded.

Across the week, the 27 young people spent time across the various fields of practice across the region, including mental health, health visiting, midwifery, school nursing, community nursing, acute hospital, community hospital and drug and alcohol services.

And daily they were supported by an able and experienced team of nursing and midwifery mentors across the region – generating a total of over 200 individual timetabled sessions.

Feedback is being provided to the students from every mentor, designed to help to support individual learning and provide evidence for their future career ambitions.

Mhairi said: “At the end of the week, the pupils gathered in the four localities for a debrief and evaluation session.

“Overall, the candidates have told us that they enjoyed the opportunity and learned from it. 
“And after the week’s work experience, it’s great that all 27 students still say that they want to pursue careers in Nursing and Midwifery.
“Some may change their direction from Midwifery to Adult Nursing, or from Adult Nursing to Midwifery or Health Visiting but it’s great that this experience has really helped shape their intentions.
“There will be great career opportunities for careers in nursing and midwifery in this region going forward, and we’re delighted that there are young people out there who are set to play important roles helping to meet the changing health and social care needs of the region’s population.”


Feedback provided by the fifth and sixth year students included:

  • “It broadened horizons within nursing.”
  • “I felt welcomed, and staff had time for me.”
  • “I really felt the pieces came together getting to know the roles.”
  • “At the beginning I felt awkward and in the way, but was given reassurance from staff.”
  • “Shadowing really helped me understand the roles.”
  • “I liked supporting patients.”
  • “I feel a sense of achievement.”
  • “It opened my eyes to all the different nursing disciplines.”