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Developing a socioecological framework of understanding to deconstruct the complex personal growth narratives of health and social care students, entering healthcare practice early during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Adams, Nicholas Norman; Butler-Warke, Alice; Torrance, Nicola; Grant, Aileen; Kennedy, Catriona; Kydd, Angela; Cunningham, Scott; Douglas, Flora

Authors

Nicola Torrance



Abstract

During the COVID-19 pandemic and resultant lockdown, UK health and social care students were offered the opportunity to become ‘early entrants’: nursing and midwifery students were asked to enter extended paid placements, while some student pharmacists, and students from allied health professions and social work opted to begin professional work pre-graduation. Early recruitment for all disciplines comprised efforts to combat expectations of the NHS becoming overwhelmed. Students entered a rapidly changing healthcare system facing significant uncertainty and flux, with continually shifting policies. While early-entrants contributed to the fight against Covid-19, they straddled expectations with their role as pre-graduation health and social care students. This paper highlights findings from our study exploring the experiences of health and social care students, who were offered the opportunity to enter practice early. Drawing on survey data and interviews with participants, we reimagine a socioecological theoretical framing to make sense of the complex stories and experiences of ‘early entrants’ and highlight that while manifestations are felt at the individual level, there are linkages to wider organisational, community, and public policy factors. We pay particular attention to connections between perceived ‘moral duties’, informal and formal communication, and impacts upon early entrants’ wellbeing. We argue that as we move beyond COVID-19 and into a post-COVID world, we have all become acutely aware of external pressures and limitations. We must learn from our own experiences and from research so that we consider the role of the individual as embedded within a complex system with varying pressures and expectations.

Citation

ADAMS, N.N., BUTLER-WARKE, A., TORRANCE, N., GRANT, A., KENNEDY, C., KYDD, A., CUNNINGHAM, S. and DOUGLAS, F. 2021. Developing a socioecological framework of understanding to deconstruct the complex personal growth narratives of health and social care students, entering healthcare practice early during the Covid-19 pandemic. Presented at 2021 British Sociological Association (BSA) annual conference: remaking the future, 13 April 2021, [virtual conference].

Presentation Conference Type Lecture
Conference Name 2021 British Sociological Association (BSA) annual conference: remaking the future
Conference Location [virtual conference]
Start Date Apr 13, 2021
Deposit Date May 10, 2021
Publicly Available Date May 11, 2021
Keywords COVID-19 pandemic; Health and social care; Nursing and midwifery; Pharmacists; Students; Allied health professions; Early recruitment; Pre-graduation; Experiences; Pressures and expectations
Public URL https://rgu-repository.worktribe.com/output/1334872
Additional Information Video recording of presentation (14.38mins).

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