Stephanie McLaughlin started her Nursing Associate course in January 2020 at Anglian Ruskin University and was in her first clinical placement at Papworth Hospital when COVID meant that she had to leave and return to her “home” base of community adult services in Luton. To enable the course to go on, Steph continued with her academic studies using virtual technology to engage with university lectures and peer meetings.
Throughout this time, she was also working as a Health Care Assistant (HCA) and visiting patients in their homes in the Luton area carrying out work assigned to her by the district nurses. Steph has been in this role for 3 years and has always visited patients and carried out whatever work was assigned to her without questioning it, demonstrating her dedication to her role.
Steph’s newly acquired knowledge has enabled her to think about her work in a totally different way, and most importantly be able to deliver excellent patient centred care. For this to happen during the pandemic has been remarkable, as it would have been very easy for Steph to disengage with the course, and to just focus on her HCA role. But her commitment to the course and dedication to make a difference for patients has been incredibly impressive.