Improving the Professional English Skills of Overseas Nurses Working in the NHS
I have just successfully finished my first contract for the English National Health Service (NHS) teaching English to staff nurses from Spain and Portugal.
Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust (WAHT) has recruited staff nurses from Spain and Portugal. These nurses already have a very competent level of English, but to speed up their contribution to the Trust’s work and to capitalize on their advanced nursing knowledge and skills, WAHT invited GPC Language Training to work with them to develop and deliver an English language course which is tailor-made for overseas nurses making the transition to the NHS. The high quality input I was given by senior nurses and HR at WAHT was a key reason why the finished product was as successful as it turned out to be.
The fully developed course includes essential, functional and idiomatic English for a range of tasks that these nurses are expected to get to grips with rapidly. Authentic situations such as what to do if a patient falls out of bed, the myriad of NHS acronyms and abbreviations, the official forms and documents which nurses fill out repeatedly as well as the essential language they need to talk face to face and by phone about issues such as administering intravenous medication, test results etc. are just a few examples of the course’s content.
Inevitably there were also language issues around English grammar, pronunciation and listening skills; these were integrated into the course and the teaching of them was differentiated for each nurse.
Having the chance to practice new professional language in the safety of the classroom and then step back into the real world of nursing and use it in their full-time staff nursing jobs proved to be a very effective way of learning and improving quickly and effectively.
I was absolutely delighted when the HR Training Manager at WAHT authorized me to use this quotation:
“Gary worked with Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust to design an ‘English for Nursing’ course which specifically addressed the Trust’s requirements for a practical English course which would help our Spanish nurses with the transition to the NHS. Gary met with key stakeholders to understand the Trust’s needs and also undertook his own research to design a specialised course. Gary also undertook an individual assessment with each student to understand their learning needs. Gary has shown flexibility in responding to nurses’ questions and we have had great feedback from the students. The students have reported that the course has built their confidence in written and spoken English. The Trust would have no hesitation in recommending GPC Language Training.”