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USINs a welcome addition to Spinal Injuries Unit

27 May 2024

The nursing cohort at PAH’s Spinal Injuries Inpatient Unit is benefiting from the addition of eight University Students in Nursing (USINs) since early 2024.

USiNs are second and third-year nursing students entering the workforce as unlicensed healthcare workers, employed by the organisation to assist and support unit teams in the provision of person-centred care. The cohort is not new to PAH with Internal Medicine adopting the model since 2017 but the addition of USINs is new to Spinal.

USINs are a key strategy in SIU to address the busy morning routine when demand for nursing support is at its peak.  Four USINs were introduced in December 2023 with another four coming on board in January 2024.

Christian: 3rd Year - QUT 
Being a USIN in Spinal Injuries Unit was an opportunity to kickstart my nursing career before I finish my study. I like the routine and what I can do autonomously without a Clinical Facilitator there. It gives me a chance to be part of the team with the RN’s, EN’s, and the AINs but also be more independent than when I’m on student placement. 

Farin: 3rd Year - Griffith
This exposure to spinal injuries is really valuable. What I love about nursing is getting to do some interesting clinical stuff. When I go home, I think about all the amazing things that I did; practical learning is interesting for me.

Isuththi: 3rd Year - QUT
I had a placement in eye clinic last semester and I really like the team. I got to know about this role as well and the nurses encouraged me to join the inpatient unit placement to get that experience and working as a team. I feel like every day is different for me; I like to have interaction with the patients as well. 

Nivedita: 3rd Year - Griffith University
I actually did a couple of placements here that I really enjoyed. I'm excited to hopefully end up in PA as a registered nurse soon. I've enjoyed spine and learning more about scope of practice and applying my skills. What I love about nursing is the patients. We get to do so much more than organizing medications at bedside. There are other skills to learn as well like the VAST team in PA, who come down to insert picc lines which is mind-blowing. So yeah, I have to do something like that and learn a lot of new skills.

Aneta: 2nd Year –
This role as a USIN is an open door for me to get more experience and more exposure to benefit my placements and uni assessments as well. Communication is key in Spinal- You can’t assume that everyone or anyone is the same - they work different both mentally and physically.  This environment is challenging as some people can’t do things on their own so hoisting is new to me and it is time consuming compared to other wards. Here you need to make sure they are in the hoist and the sling properly before lifting off the bed so it is challenging but a great learning curve.  

Jesse: Griffith University GC
I have always pictured myself working in a hospital so I ‘gave nursing a try’ and I’m loving it. A placement in spinal enables me to bring my great smile and communication skills to the team. 

Last updated 27 May 2024
Last reviewed 27 May 2024

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