Student nurses fight stress

12th January 1996 at 00:00
As Scotland's 12 nursing colleges prepare to enter partnerships with universities, they are turning their attention to student stress.

At Forth Valley College, bursaries are distributed at the earliest opportunity to ease money worries and staff make it a priority to chase late cheques. There are also weekly "reflective groups" to share experiences and problems. Group leaders meet with Fiona Dick, co-ordinator of student services. "If there is anything the college can do to help I act on it immediately," Ms Dick says.

Steven Morrison, a third-year student, spent Pounds 200 in his first year on books which he could have borrowed from the college library. "I desperately needed the money for other things," he recalls.

Students in their second year have to conduct a "neighbourhood study" of local resources and services for those on a low income. That information can then be used, at the beginning of their third year, in talks to "freshers".

Heather Young, a married student, finds that her grant is likely to go on paying off household bills. "You end up having to rob Peter to pay Paul. "

Forth Valley does what it can to help and is the first nursing college in Scotland to secure a free bus pass, worth Pounds 150, for students.

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