A GRATEFUL nurse has praised the care they received in hospital with nearly 300 students having taken up placements in Ayrshire.

Nurses across the health board were thanked for their incredible efforts on International Nurses Day yesterday, as more than 300 Ayrshire healthcare heroes have tested positive for coronavirus.

Figures released by NHS Ayrshire and Arran (NHSA&A) on Tuesday show that 302 frontline workers have now contracted COVID-19, a rise of 28 since last week.

Writing after being discharged following a 12 day battle with COVID-19, one nurse said: “The care I received from everyone, under such difficult circumstances, was awe inspiring.

“To see everyone pulling together, some who’ve not worked in that area or with each other before, was humbling. Such kindness, compassion and professionalism. I’m so thankful and forever grateful.”

A total of 287 students have taken up placements where they are rostered into teams working in both acute and community hospitals, with community nursing teams, in care homes and other independent sector care providers.

Speaking to all nurses in NHSA&A, Hazel Borland, nurse director, said: “Both towards each other, towards your colleague and towards your patients and their families, you have absolutely continued to strive to deliver the standard of care that you want to deliver even in these difficult times.

“You have changed role, you have moved job, you have joined different teams, you have absolutely done what was asked, and in some cases, not even what was asked because you have come up with those solutions yourselves. So I cannot say again enough how proud I am to be nurse director in NHS Ayrshire and Arran.”

Student nurses will continue to achieve the required learning outcomes thanks to support from registered nurses and midwives.

There are currently 140 students on their final placements to become registered nurses and midwives in September 2020 and employed in a Band 4 position until September 30. The remaining 147 are second year student nurses in a Band 3 position until August 31. The students are from nursing programmes including paediatrics, midwifery, mental health and learning disability.

At Tuesday’s coronavirus briefing, the First Minister said: “I want today to say an extra special thank you to all of Scotland’s nurses.

“The past few weeks have demonstrated yet again just how much all of us owe to your compassion, your dedication and your expertise.”

Hospital admissions in the health board have continued to fall. As of last night, 39 patients were being treated for suspected or confirmed coronavirus, with seven in intensive care. Across Ayrshire, 13 more positive tests have been confirmed in the last 24 hours, bringing the region’s total to 925.