Training to Testing
Anne McCulloch, the Employability Skills Coordinator at OSFC, has been an integral part of the mass testing efforts that the College has completed in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, in March 2021. However, this wasn’t Anne’s first experience of working on the site in a medical field. Anne had previously completed her State Registered Nursing Training (SRN) from 1972-1975, when the Oldham Royal Infirmary sat on the site the College occupies now.
Anne explains her training led her on to be a Staff Nurse in Accident and Emergency (today known as trauma nursing), so she had experience working in a high pressure environment and keeping her cool, which must have come in useful when helping to support over 1000 students completing Lateral Flow Tests at the start of the month. She says that the planning and principles of controlling infectious diseases are still the same and mirror what she learnt from her nursing training. Anne, alongside a dedicated group of staff volunteers, played a vital role in processing students tests, “I have been instructing students on how to administer the self- test and then processing the test using extraction fluid and milking cells.”
Although the College sits on the same site as the hospital once did, there is very little left of the old building Anne would’ve completed her training in. “The site is unrecognisable. I do remember the stone arch, (now) at the main entrance, as that is part of the original hospital building and the entrance to the then Accident and Emergency department.’’
Anne now works alongside a large team of careers advisors and skills coordinators who all work closely with OSFC students, helping guide them onto further education or training steps. She says she’s thrilled “that nursing is now seen as a profession and given the kudos it deserves. When I was nursing, the role was viewed as a vocation and not valued by status or remuneration.” Anne now uses all her experience to advise students and tells anyone looking to go into the profession today, to always “remember that the patient is the most important person in the room and that they should always be treated with kindness, compassion and humility.”
Although our mass testing efforts are now finished, Anne and the other members of the team did an amazing job, allowing for OSFC students to return to on site lessons and resume a little bit of normality. Anne reflects on her time working and living at the Oldham Royal Hospital with fondness, concluding that “it seems fitting that I will be finishing my working life at the same site, although in a different role.”
Oldham Infirmary 1908