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Young carers share their experiences with nursing students

7 Dec 2018 9:45AM

Pupils at Claydon High School have been sharing their experiences of being a young carer with nursing students at the University of Suffolk.

The young carers explained what their caring responsibilities are and the impact it has on the school life. The aim of the event held at the University was so the nursing students can be better equipped to identify ‘hidden carers’ and to understand some of the challenges young carers can face.

Emma Murrow, was one of the child nursing students to benefit. She said “Meeting the young carers of Claydon High School has really enhanced our learning, it was nice to hear first-hand experiences and recognise how inspirational and resilient they are. Prior to the students arriving, we had a session, which focused on a negative perspective, however the students surprised us with their positive spirits and motivation to still try to fulfil a normal childhood despite their responsibilities, this was lovely to see. Seeing this for myself and hearing the support the students receive from different services has enhanced my understanding of a young carers needs and how I can tailor the care I give to suit them, including ensuring they have access to these services, should I ever come across this is practice. It is our responsibility as children’s nurses to ensure every child reaches their full potential; meeting the young careers enabled us to recognise how this can be fulfilled.”

She added, “I think it was great the University hosted this. It really did benefit us and enhance our learning, rather than reading statistics and focusing on the negatives; the students changed our perspectives and enabled us to ask questions directly to them.”

Gemma Harris, Associate Lecturer in Child Health Nursing at the University, said “I am delighted to have been able to facilitate the students from Claydon coming to talk to our Nursing students, and very grateful to them for agreeing to help. The pupils were very engaged and open which enabled the nursing students to gain an invaluable insight into the lives of the young carers and how they can best support these groups of children should they encounter them within their clinical environments. The experience has been really well received by all those involved and I hope it is something that we can continue to incorporate into our nursing programme.”

Claydon High School has been recognised for its work with young carers and has recently been awarded with the Platinum Award for supporting our young carers in school. The School raises awareness of young carers through assemblies and teacher training days. They also hold activities, events and fundraisers.

Mark Ismay, Deputy Head of Claydon High School, said,Working alongside the University is a wonderful opportunity for our students. It gives them confidence knowing the nursing profession are aware of their needs and allows the trainee nurses to interact with the students rather than just learning theory. We have already discussed how we can improve for next year and look forward to developing a long-standing relationship.” 

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