GCU School of Health and Life Sciences Dean Professor Andrea Nelson has returned to the nursing frontline to help out on COVID-19.
She is the COVID-19 mobile testing team’s ‘Girl Friday’ and takes Friday’s off as annual leave to cover her NHS shift, donating any salary to the GCU Foundation Common Good Fund.
Professor Nelson, a registered Adult Nurse, has been working alongside students, nurses and allied health professionals, including many GCU alumni, based at the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde COVID-19 Community Assessment Centre (CAC) in north Glasgow.
CACs were set up to help combat the virus by providing a more streamlined service to assess people with symptoms in the community.
Professor Nelson explained: “In April this year, I decided to see if I could make a direct, front-line contribution as a nurse to the Glasgow COVID-19 response. I registered to re-join the sharp end of care and after an interview and eight hours of mandatory update training, I was allocated to the Assessment Centre.
“Getting ready for deployment, navigating all of the processes to register my application and completing the training, gave me renewed respect for our students who are doing this in addition to their studies, clinical placement and University assessments.
“Making the change from being office-based to travelling all over Glasgow visiting people in their homes, as well as all the precautions you take as part of the COVID-19 team, has meant Fridays are very different from the regular weekday in the Dean’s role, but equally rewarding.
“The real highlights have been meeting people across Glasgow and working alongside our students who were deployed to the CAC. I’ve really enjoyed hearing about their plans for their first job as newly qualified nurses.
“Over the past few months, some of our GCU nursing students have graduated and been fully registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council, meaning that they can call themselves registered nurses and get their ‘blues’ – their official nurses uniform.
“Everyone in the CAC is so proud of the students, and I could not be happier for them, and for the people of Glasgow being visited by our students, new nurses and alumni.”