Nursing and Allied Health students take part in one-of-a-kind Welsh language conference and networking event
Date: Friday, January 26, 2024
In a first for Wrexham University/Prifysgol Wrecsam, more than 200 Nursing and Allied Health students took part in a collaborative Inter-professional Education Day – with a focus on the Welsh language within healthcare settings.
Titled ‘Care and Language, Hand in Hand’, first and second year students from the Plas Coch in Wrexham and St. Asaph campuses, received talks from guest speakers on the importance of the Welsh language in healthcare, and the benefits of using the language for both staff and patients.
The event featured talks from Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) and Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol representatives.
As a requirement of the Nursing and Allied Health courses, inter-professional days ensure students develop an understanding of how they will be working with other disciplines once qualified.
Following on the from the morning conference, the cohorts were able to network with other students and discover more about the different Allied Health disciplines, as well as take the opportunity to speak with various organisations, such as Menter Iaith, Coleg Cambria and the University’s Welsh Language Tutor, Teresa Davies.
Students were also able to learn more about Welsh language classes and societies to practice the language outside of the classroom.
This is the second inter-professional day hosted by the University – the first in 2023 focused on providing students with basic lifesaving skills. A further inter-professional day is scheduled for May – around the theme of safeguarding in healthcare.
Meilyr Emrys, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board Welsh Language Officer delivering his session on the impact of using Welsh within the Health board.
Jo Griffiths, second year Adult Nursing student, based at the University’s St Asaph campus, said: “The presentation at the Inter-professional Education Day has given me a confidence boost to learn Welsh and shown that it’s okay to make mistakes when trying to speak the language.
“I’ve realised I don’t need to be fluent to have an impact.”
Teresa Davies, Wrexham University Welsh Language Skills Tutor speaking with students.
Meilyr Emrys, BCUHB Welsh Language Officer and one of the day’s speakers explained the importance of such events.
He said: “These kinds of events are extremely important. What we wanted the students to understand from the day was that even utilising a bit of Welsh can make life easier for patients in what can be a stressful time
“It’s about finding a way to make sure our patients can communicate comfortably and as naturally as possible.”
The afternoon session saw students take on mini-Welsh lessons, based on their ability, aimed to increase their confidence, and widen their healthcare related vocabulary.
Sioned Roberts, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board Welsh Language Officer, delivering one of the Welsh Language workshops to students.
There was also the opportunity for attendees to share stories of how they have experienced and used Welsh in healthcare settings first-hand, whether this be as staff or a patient.
Awel Wynne-Williams, Lecturer in Children's Nursing and event organiser was thrilled with how the day went.
She said: “It has been a privilege to work alongside Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and Y Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol as we discussed a subject that affects patients and families every day in our communities.
“The day inspired students to think about the strong link that exists between care and language. Thank you so much to everyone for your enthusiasm and hard work in preparing for the day.”
Elen Mai Nefydd, Head of Welsh Medium Development at Wrexham University added: “This Interprofessional day on Welsh Language Awareness in Allied Health and Nursing has been a great success and it is wonderful to see many Wrexham University students attending the day and having the opportunity to work with several of our external partners such as the Health Board and Y Coleg Cymraeg Ceneldaethol.
“A Welsh language awareness day such as this prepares our students for the workforce in Wales and it is an important element of our Welsh Medium Strategy at the university, where we are committed to offering opportunities for all through the Welsh language at Wrexham University.”