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My journey as a Trainee Nursing Associate: Leena Ghale

This Friday, we will find out if we have been named Nursing Associate Training Programme Provider of the Year in the Student Nursing Times Awards. Our shortlisting is in recognition of the quality of learning we provide Trainee Nursing Associates (TNAs) during their placements at our Surbiton Home.


But the Charity also puts forward its own staff to the TNA programme, with its first cohort of Health Care Assistants (HCA) starting their two-year course in December 2018. Among them is Lead HCA Leena Ghale. In this blog she tells us about the challenges the TNA course poses, what she gained from her first placement, and how all this benefits the Charity.

I’m now four months into the course and I’m really enjoying it. It’s hard work as I’m working full-time and studying full-time too, but we knew what it was going to be like before we started. I’ve just finished my first placement, I’ve got exams coming up and assignments due in in early May, so everything is happening at the same time! You can imagine my stress levels, but I’m learning quite a lot and it’s a really good experience.


My placement was for four weeks in the community with a District Nurse mostly in New Malden and Worcester Park. I was doing home visits for people that are house-bound, people who cannot leave their home due to long-term or acute medical conditions. Basically, I shadowed the nurse everywhere so was exposed to, and observed, various skills. I developed skills like wound dressing, from simple to complex ones using aseptic techniques and being competent and confident to deliver it on my own. Leg ulcers, diabetic care, care assessment and planning, attending multi-disciplinary team meetings with the GP surgery and how referrals of clients were done were on the list of things that I experienced.


Every Thursday, I go to university for study and that’s good fun. People on the course come from all different care backgrounds, and some have been in working in care for 30 or 40 years. So I feel I’m gaining valuable skills, experience and knowledge at university as well as from my placement. And I’m able to bring this back to Surbiton. Sometimes colleagues come up and ask me questions because I’ve been studying which gives me a really nice feeling!


I know there’s a lot of hard work ahead, but I’m looking forward to learning lots more during my Trainee Nursing Associate course.