Public lecture with Dr Helen Shallow

A public lecture by visiting midwifery Scholar and birth activist Dr Helen Shallow:

‘Are you listening to me?’

24th October 2018 – 9am to 1pm

Who can come?

Midwives, students (undergraduate and postgraduate), academics, medical staff and students, policy makers and NHS managers.

Where: N303 (Amphitheatre) – SIWB

Cost: Free but please book to secure a place

 Morning programme

09.00 – 09.15 Introduction and housekeeping

09.15 – 10.00 1st presentation: Early labour care ‘Are you listening to me?’

10.00 – 10.30 Questions/Discussion

10.30 – 11.00 Break

11.00 – 11.30 Exploring local plans for improving current early labour midwifery care.

Working in groups

11.30 – 11.55 2nd presentation: Politics of midwifery education

11.55 – 12.30 Open discussion/debate (future midwifery education standards and NMC)

(Click on the pictures below to view the full size)


Postgraduate Research Student Lunchtime Seminars

The school now has monthly lunch time seminars in which our PGR students present their work to date in a supportive environment. Please find attached the poster advert for June 13th. We would welcome anyone to come along and support our PGR students.

Feedback on the recent day long PGR student symposium last month was that more events such as this would be helpful to their PG student journey and would help foster the research culture they need to succeed and enjoy their work.

Look forward to seeing everyone there and the dialogue that these presentations will encourage!

Download the flyer below:

Postgraduate Research Student Lunchtime Seminars

Getting back to my roots!

By Dr. Flora Douglas, Reader, School of Nursing and Midwifery

It’s been a great pleasure to find myself at the start of my second week in post as a new Reader in the School of Nursing and Midwifery, as inspired and excited as I was since gaining the appointment some weeks ago. My new start coincided with the SNM 2nd annual Post Graduate Research symposium on the 23rd May. The symposium’s keynote presentation delivered by Prof. Kadar Parahoo from Ulster University set the tone for the day, i.e. as a relaxed, supportive but highly informative event. His talk on ‘Building a Research Career’ touched on issues and topics familiar to me (as someone who has worked academia in Scotland and Australia) yet at the same time, gave fresh perspective and inspiration.

The symposium itself proved to be a marvellous show case event for post graduate students’ research projects, enabling me to get very quick ‘handle’ on the range of innovative research work that is currently taking place at RGU in the areas of adult nursing, midwifery and mental health. The topics presented during the symposium ranged from: 1. Maternity service-user involvement in midwifery education, 2. Use of film as a media for investigating stigma associated with mental health with young people, 3. Health and social integration and service user experiences in north east Scotland, 4. Exploration of notions of palliative care for patients with heart failure, 5. Older adults with functional mental illness and their service use experiences, to name but a few of the impressive range of subject areas covered.

Reflecting on the symposium, and my first full week in post, I am pleased to find that while I’ve been working predominantly in public health and public health research over the past couple of decades, the skills and research interests I’ve gained since qualifying as a nurse from Glasgow University in the ‘80s – particularly as they relate my research interests in understanding the impact of food poverty on long term condition management, and, maternal and child health – fit well here. And therefore, I’m very happy indeed to have journeyed ‘Back to my Roots’ here at RGU, and am really looking forward to taking part in the life and work of this vibrant and welcoming nursing community over the coming years.

RGU Student nurses visit to the Florence Nightingale Commemoration Service at Westminster Abbey

By James Millar

Earlier this year I received an email, like many I receive I glanced over it then ignored it not realising or understanding the opportunity contained within. Upon closer inspection I found that it was an invite to attend the Florence Nightingale Commemoration service at Westminster Abbey in London. After double checking it and – ever the sceptic –  looking for the “catch”, I realised that myself and fellow student Christie, been nominated to attend. Naturally, I jumped at the chance!

Over the next couple of weeks, I exchanged several emails about the commemoration service, and it became apparent that our time in London would also include a student day at St Thomas hospital, and that we would be accompanied by Heather Bain – the Academic Strategic lead for Nursing and Midwifery at RGU. I was also delighted to learn that our flights and accommodation were to be arranged for by the university – thank you, RGU!

So, it was at 4:30am on Wednesday the 9th of May my alarm went off and I got ready to go meet Christie and hop on a plane down to London.

By 9am we had landed at London city airport and managed to negotiate the trains and tubes to arrive at Waterloo station. After dropping our bags at the hotel, we headed to St Thomas hospital to attend the student day, which began at 10:30am.

The student day took place in the Governors hall in St Thomas Hospital and consisted of around 80 students from across the UK, representing midwives and all the various nursing disciplines. We were placed into groups designed to promote inter-practice discussion and given a topic to create 2 questions from, which we would put towards a panel of inspirational personages from nursing and midwifery backgrounds. The panel consisted of Geoffrey Walker (Chair), Matron for Medicine/Specialist Medicine/Emergency and Ambulatory Care at Poole Hospital. Professor Ann Lloyd Keen Professor of Innovation Health for Older Care London South Bank University; Senior Scholar at the Hartford Institute, New York University; Fellow of Queens Nursing Institute; Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing; Trustee, The Florence Nightingale Foundation. Professor Ian Peate, Head of School, School of Health Studies, Gibraltar. Ursula Ward, Chief Executive, The Florence Nightingale Foundation. Professor Greta Westwood Chief Operating Officer, The Florence Nightingale Foundation. Rachael Corser, East & North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, Director of Nursing.

All the groups presented their questions, which ranged from the future of education to practice and gender equality issues. We received answers from members of the panel, provoking discussion and occasionally conflicting opinions. However, any disagreements originated in focus and priorities rather than any fundamental difference of opinion, and the discussions between the panel in answering our questions was enlightening.

While I enjoyed the Q&A session and learned a lot about the differences between the NHS Trusts in England and NHS Scotland, I felt that NHS Scotland was not represented on the panel and that any questions coming from Scottish Students about practice and education in Scotland were marginalised or deflected.  However, the interactions with other students going through their own nursing or midwifery journeys made the day well worthwhile and has encouraged me to continue my own nursing journey.

Following the Q&A session we were given a guided tour of St Thomas hospital, the multi-faith chapel and the Florence Nightingale museum, which I would recommend to any nurse, student or qualified, as it gave a picture of how nursing has developed thanks to the hard work of people like Florence Nightingale. It was also interesting to learn a bit about Florence as a person, her interests, and even her grumpy pet owl Athena.

In the evening we made our way over Westminster bridge to Westminster Abbey to attend the Commemoration service for Florence Nightingale, which was a truly humbling experience. From the red coated arrival of the Chelsea Pensioners to the procession of the lamp with the Plymouth student nurses and the Matrons from her Majesties Nursing Corps, the inspiring speeches, stories and prayers made the service something I will remember for the rest of my life.

The following day, Heather Bain had arranged for us to meet with Kenny Gibson, the head of safeguarding, public health commissioning, early years, immunisations and military health with NHS England at Skipton house. Kenny went over his roles with us and the difficulties facing healthcare – especially in a large urban environment like London – and the technological innovations being used to overcome them, such as E-pens to online records. It was just as interesting to learn about Kenny’s nursing journey – coming from a small village outside Banff in rural Aberdeenshire to becoming head of Safeguarding in London was an inspirational story for myself and Christie to hear. Kenny worked as a domestic in the laundry at RCH before undertaking his training as a mental health nurse at RCH and Kingseat, from there he took every opportunity he could to develop and progress his learning.

After visiting Kenny, we took in some of the sights of London, Camden Market and the street performances at Covent Gardens were definitely highlights! We were then lucky enough to attend a small meeting at the home of the NMC in Portland Place before starting the journey home to Aberdeen.

I would like to thank the Florence Nightingale Foundation for inviting students from around the UK to attend the event, and all the staff at RGU who organised our travel, accommodation and ultimately suggested us as candidates to attend. Thanks also to Heather for arranging our visits and guiding us around London on the second day.

Florence Nightingale Foundation Students Day 2018

By Christie Church

I was extremely honoured and grateful to be one of the two nursing students selected to represent RGU at the Florence Nightingale Foundation Students Day on 9th May 2018. This was my first time visiting London so I was so excited for this opportunity.

The day began with around 80 student nurses; from all fields and student midwives, gathering in The Governors Hall in St. Thomas’ Hospital. We all introduced ourselves to each other, which was amazing to meet the wide range of student nurses and midwifes with different experiences and motivational stories. We were then met by a panel of inspirational individuals from all different nursing and midwifery backgrounds. The focus of the session was ‘Shaping the future of education, practice, research and clinical leadership in nursing and midwifery’. Each table was given different topics to produce two questions around, although each table produced a number of generic questions as well as the panels answers were so engaging that we all wanted to know more. Every single answer given by each panel member was different yet the same. Some had different opinions and outlooks although they all had the same message around nurses and midwifes. We matter. We are not ‘just’ a nurse or ‘just’ a midwife, we are the heart of the NHS, we do roles that people may not expect us to do, but we get on with it anyways and it’s something each of us were born to do. Its not all about grades, its about care and compassion, its about our ‘calling’ to be a nurse. Each panel member had a different background although a few had stated that they left school with minimum grades and now look at where they are. I had the most amazing morning/afternoon at the panel, it left me truly inspired to be the best nurse possible and make a positive impact to the NHS, as we are the future of it.

We then were given a tour of the Florence Nightingale Museum, which I would encourage every nurse to do at some point in their career, as it was truly inspiring. It allowed us to see the changes in nursing across the years including nursing during the wars, amputations previously done by a hand saw whilst the patient was still awake and many other miraculous things that you couldn’t imagine being done in our current era. The museum also gave an insight to the life of Florence nightingale and all of the challenges she overcame in her career, with her family and in her personal life.

In the evening it was then time for the annual Florence nightingale commemoration service in the West Minster Abbey. Which is one of the most magical places I have ever been, it was truly breath-taking. The service was a celebration of the life of Florence nightingale, as well as celebrating nurses all over the world who make a difference to the world. It also involved several student nurses carrying the lamp of knowledge down the aisle and passing it on to the next nurse to be selected. Throughout the service I felt extremely proud to be a student nurse, I also couldn’t believe that I had gotten the chance to be there, which made me even more motivated.

Overall it was the most spectacular day and I couldn’t be more grateful and proud to be a part of it. I’ll cherish the memories from this trip forever and whenever I need reminded why nursing is for me, I just need to think of this day and all of the amazing people I met.

Hermeneutic Phenomenology Symposium

Please find attached a flyer for the Hermeneutic Phenomenology Symposium which I would greatly appreciate if you would promote widely among your contacts and networks.

54794 Symposium A4 flyer March 2018

ICCHNR symposium

Please find attached a flyer for the ICCHNR symposium which I would greatly appreciate if you would promote widely amongst your contacts and networks.

The call for abstracts is open until the 1st March 2018.

All details about the conference are accessible at the conference website including registration costs, and how to register:

Professor Catriona Kennedy