Trainee nurses at the University of Sunderland are sharing their knowledge and expertise to help boost the skills of students preparing to work with children and families.

Students from the university’s Childhood Studies degree are stepping out of the classroom into the University’s state of the art Living Lab to learn from trainee nurses from the Children’s and Young People’s Nursing degree.

The scheme, ‘Health and Childhood’, is the idea of Fay Cavagin, Senior Lecturer Childhood Studies at the University of Sunderland.

She says that there is a real need for young professionals to explore contemporary health issues and understand how they impact on the developing child.

“Students studying Childhood Studies will gain hands-on experience with nursing students,” says Fay.

“They will be learning life saving measures, including reading vital signs, recording observations and learning more about clinical skills in nursing practice.”

Students discuss contemporary issues on childhood and health, and share views on children’s rights, participation and advocacy during health situations.

Alana Lumley is in the final year of her BA (Hons) Childhood Studies degree. She says the Health and Childhood course has been an important part of her studies.

“The project has helped me improve on my first aid training,” says Alana (20) from Hebburn.

“I am now more aware of different signs to look out for when a child’s health is at risk of deteriorating and how to treat a child whilst waiting for professional help.”

Alana will begin training to become a primary school teacher in September, but her longer-term aim is become a Special Educational Needs Co-Ordinator.

“The additional training Sunderland offer will help me in supporting the children I teach in the future,” she added.

Fay Cavagin added: “Childhood studies and nursing students share a passion for working with children.

“Both sets of students will develop their employability skills, with our nursing students having the opportunity to demonstrate their teaching skills.

“Our Childhood Studies students are learning skills that could save a child’s life.”