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AwardsMay 15, 2024

Hannah Rhodes helps to dispel idea that staff must give up clinical careers to become an academic

Physiotherapist Hannah Rhodes was among a group of six NHS healthcare staff who received certificates earlier this month after completing a pilot internship teaching scheme with students at the University of Winchester.

Hannah was chosen to give a talk to the guests who attended a ceremony at the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing’s West Downs Centre, while the other five (four nurses and a midwife) gave poster presentations to highlight their teaching experiences while on the course – which was held once a week over nearly five months. They came from Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Southern Health and Solent NHS

One of the six, nurse Vivien Nkwocha, praised the scheme and said everyone at the University of Winchester had displayed a ‘welcoming spirit, respect and professionalism’. She said the students' 'enthusiasm and eagerness to learn' had rejuvenated her 'passion for nursing education'.

NHS England funded the pilot project in south east England, with a total of 76 clinicians taking part. The aim was to create a ‘two-way pipeline’ between hospitals and high education. The NHS as a whole could adopt the model in due course.  

Physio Hannah Rhodes with learning practice co-ordinator Morag Emmett at the event

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 A 'wonderful example of lifelong learning'

Participants gained experience of teaching and supporting students in university settings may wish to embark on career in higher education, the university suggested. 

Karen Harrison, nursing education senior specialist with the NHSE, said: ‘We need a sustainable workforce in the NHS who can oscillate between practice and higher education.’

Her thoughts were echoed by university pro vice-chancellor Dr Matt Webster who said: 'We have to dispel the idea that you need to give up your clinical career to become an academic.’ 

We have to dispel the idea that you need to give up your clinical career to become an academic [Matt Webster, University of Winchester]

Elizabeth Davies-Ward, dean of the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing, handed out certificates to the six University of Winchester interns. She said: ‘The internship scheme is a wonderful example of lifelong learning for all involved, including the academic team who helped the interns navigate their way through the higher education system from the other side.'

She added: 'We are so proud of our relationship with the NHS and wider healthcare system partners and so important to celebrate success at every opportunity, especially in this current challenging environment.'

Hannah's fellow interns were 

  • Gemma Coles
  • Lucy Wills
  • Clemantina Phiri
  • Unjunwa Ezeama
  • Vivien Nkwocha

For more information on the university’s physiotherapy degree course, click 

Author: Ian McMillan
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