In a show of the community working together, students from Boston College are being given the opportunity to gain some hands on experience at the town’s Park Place Retirement Village.
Staff at Park Place are working closely with the three teenagers – all on a two year extended diploma in health and social care course – to help develop their skills and offer them a wide range of experiences within the nursing and residential homes.
And the students are proving very popular with the residents, according to Park Place Village Manager Tina Stebbings.
“The girls are spending a lot of time talking to residents and getting involved in social activities with them,” said Tina. “The residents really enjoy their company – and the staff are delighted at their enthusiasm.”
During their two days a week at Park Place – Lorna Perry and Amy Small, both 17, and 18 year old Emily-Rose Roberts – are integrated into the team, taking part in hand over meetings, training sessions and activities. With permission of individual residents they are also able to shadow carers.
“We are trying to give them as broad an experience as possible,” said Tina. “Even taking the tea trolley round is a learning experience as the girls find out about dietary and feeding needs.”
For the students the hands on experience is proving invaluable. Lorna Perry is in the first year of her course. “I’m really enjoying the interaction with the residents, it’s nice to be able to spend time with them and get to know them,” she said. “We’ve been able to join in training sessions here which is really helping with our assignments and course work.”
Dawn Maplethorpe from Boston College’s Care Department said: “Undertaking a vocational placement forms an integral part of our students learning. We pride ourselves on maintaining successful working partnerships with settings within the local area. Much of the success is due to the high calibre of practice that students demonstrate in settings such as Park Place. In the classroom we develop their theoretical knowledge base which underpins their practice in work placement to enhance the high standard of professionalism needed within the health and social care field.”