On Thursday 16 June Glasgow Caledonian University hosted a lunch for the West of Scotland Queen Nurses (QNs) and District Nursing (DN) students currently undertaking the PgD Advancing Practice in District Nursing programme (PgD APDN). The lunch was a planned opportunity for intergenerational discussion and sharing of experiences.
The guests were welcomed firstly by Gordon Hill, acting Head of Department, who warmly welcomed the group to the university and to the department of nursing and community health. Clare Cable, Director of Nursing QNIS added her welcome and included a brief background around the original idea of bringing QNs and students DNs together. Helen Gough, pathway lead (PWL) for the PgD APDN programme, added a final welcome from the PgD APDN programme and community nursing lecturers before introducing the format of the afternoon.
A delicious ‘afternoon tea’ style lunch was served and each table had a topic to stimulate discussion and the sharing of stories. Topics chosen for the community conversations ranged from ‘uniforms’, ‘education & training’ and ‘record keeping’ to ‘shift patterns’, ‘transport’ and ‘types of care’. The students were regaled with stories from the QNs about their varied and numerous experiences before the student DNs shared current developments in district nursing practice. The room buzzed for a full hour before each table then shared a particular aspect of their discussion.
Whilst some new developments such as agile working and education at masters level are clearly very different from earlier practices, crucial aspects of district nursing such as person centred care, the importance of promoting independence and nursing with compassion and care remain steadfast. Indeed, the importance of District Nursing as a key discipline to lead clinical nursing care in the home setting shone through from all generations.
Following lunch, a tour of the state of the art Interprofessional Simulation Centre was led by Liz Teiger, programme leader (PL) of the PgD APDN programme, with members of the Community Nursing lecturing team on hand to explain about the facilities. The tour included ward areas and ITU as well as the three community flats which are key for supporting nursing students to prepare to undertake clinical nursing care in the home setting. Following further refreshment, group photos and goodbyes took place and it was the end of a great day.
Liz Teiger (PL) and Helen Gough (PWL) were delighted at the success of the event and the way in which everyone embraced, enjoyed and contributed to the conversations. Liz and Helen were further delighted at the positive feedback received at the event including several suggestions about making it an annual event. It was great to host such an enjoyable occasion that not only helps generations of DNs engage with each other but also promotes the professional identity of District Nursing and the contribution GCU makes to leading the preparation of this distinct discipline in community nursing.
Helen Gough on behalf of the programme team
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