Nursing students at Kingston University (KU) have been praised for their efforts going “above and beyond” what would normally be asked of them during the coronavirus pandemic.

KU reavealed last week (May 15) that hundreds of nursing students at the university had been working on the frontlines of the pandemic to help manage and slow the spread of Covid-19 coronavirus.

Many are on work placements organised by the KU’s Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education (run jointly by Kingston and St George’s, University of London), while others have turned their creative skills to donate vital supplies and support to others battling the virus.

Some of those currently enrolled at the university have been working in care homes where the threat of the virus is amplified.

Among them are second year learning disability nursing student Martina Gomez, who worked in a residential care home over the last few weeks and also donated over 200 hand cream items to fellow carers after receiving cash pledges to fund the project.

Other KU nursing undergrads have been fast-tracked into hospital work during the coronavirus pandemic. Among them, Ellie Bouali, who worked on a cancer ward and spoke openly about the importance of emotional support for frontline workers such as herself.

“Ellie Bouali has been encouraging her fellow healthcare professionals to follow her footsteps and seek free support from qualified therapists if they are feelings the effects of being on the frontline during the pandemic.

“She was encouraged to join a Facebook group called Therapy and Support for our Frontline NHS and Emergency Services, which has helped her mentally deal with the current situation,” a spokesperson for KU said.

Head of the School of Nursing at KU Dr Julia Gale expressed her pride at how her students are reacting to the challenges posed by the virus. “I am constantly amazed by the incredible passion, ingenuity and care shown by our students,” she said.

“They really have been going above and beyond to help not just their NHS colleagues and other key workers but those most vulnerable in our communities,” she said.

KU collected testimonies of various care-giving students and shared them in video form online.

One of those interviewed was midwifery student Lottie, who described how she had used her free time to help support those impacted by the pandemic.

“I’ve been signed onto an app called Bubble Babysitting for a while now, but since the pandemic started they’ve added a feature that allows NHS workers to request voluntary sits from people such as myself.

“I’ve been doing this in my free time, when I can around my studies,” she described.

Nursing MSc student Emily Brooks meanwhile described her incredible efforts opening a Crisis kitchen and delivering “over 5,000 meals to those in need in the community,” she described.