At Balhousie Lisden care home in Kirriemuir, home manager Madeana Laing and her team welcome the opportunity to support student nurses in their own individual learning and development.

“At Lisden, we feel it’s really important to be able to give student nurses the opportunity to come and experience working alongside our care team,” Madeana said. “The role of a nurse in a care home environment is often underestimated, but our nurses have a wealth of skills and collectively many years of experience between them.”

“Our nurses have the ability to think fast and make decisions without having a larger team of nurses or medical staff to consult with or rely on. It is an invaluable skill for student nurses to experience this kind of environment first-hand when training.”

“At Lisden no two days are ever the same and our student nurses are able to develop a vast range of clinical skills from taking routine observations to wound management.  The students are also involved in person centred care planning, risk assessment and advanced end of life care planning and palliative care.  We strongly believe that our resident’s social and emotional well-being is just as important as their clinical needs. This holistic approach is something that students may not have the opportunity to focus on whilst working in a busy acute environment.”

Claire Carrie, a sign-off mentor at Lisden believes there are benefits for the mentors as well as the students during the process. “A lot of students don’t realise it, but when mentoring, it gives me an opportunity to reflect on my practice and allows me to keep me skills up to date,” Claire explained. “It’s also really rewarding when students thank you and you feel you have made a real difference in supporting the next generation of nurses.”