Child patients play nurses for the day in career-inspiring initiative
Young patients at a hospital in Yorkshire have been given child-sized nurse uniforms and spent time looking after their ‘unwell’ toys with staff as part of an initiative to inspire a new generation of health professionals.
Children being cared for at Doncaster Royal Infirmary were given pretend stethoscopes and checked mock X-rays to treat their toys.
The mini unisex uniforms used by the hospital, which is run by Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, were created by chief nursing officer for England Ruth May as part of her national “future nurse” initiative.
Dr May first launched them at the start of the year to take into primary schools to encourage both boys and girls to think about a career in nursing and show the profession in a modern light.
The hospital trust said the uniforms and nursing props gave its child patients an interesting activity to engage in and helped to “plant the seed” for a future career in the health service.
Cindy Storer, acting deputy director of nursing, midwifery and allied health professionals at the trust, said: “Having these gender neutral uniforms in our hospital play areas enable our clinicians to talk to children and young people about what it’s like to be a nurse and help to plant an early seed that may grow into a flourishing future career.
“As a trust we have been working hard to attract future colleagues from our local communities and dispel myths and old-fashioned perceptions about what it is to be a nurse in the 21st century.”
Jill Edwards, play leader at the trust, said: “Children in hospital are likely to look up to those who are caring for them and this is the perfect opportunity to get them interested in the profession.”
She added that the initiative helped to “distract” the young patients from their treatment and gave them something “fun to focus on.