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Student nurse undergoes surgery at placement hospital

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Published on 01 July 2021

Adult Nursing Student Megan Richardson
Adult Nursing Student Megan Richardson

Student nurse Megan Richardson is one of the first patients to undergo surgery on her ankle as a Teesside hospital trust tackles the backlog of planned operations. 

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust runs the University Hospital of North Tees in Stockton and the University Hospital of Hartlepool and like all health trusts across the country, postponed all elective surgery for several months as NHS staff responded to the coronavirus pandemic. 

One of the patients who has benefitted from recent surgery is first year Sunderland student Megan Richardson, from Stockton.  

The 23-year-old first year Adult Nursing student had successful ankle surgery after the outbreak first started but needed a further procedure to treat ongoing issues with her ankle stability due to suffering from severe hypermobility. 

Consultant orthopaedic surgeon Rajiv Limaye and surgical care practitioner Beth Alderton have led her surgery and treatment with support from the wider team. 

Megan, who is due to begin a 10-week placement with North Tees, as part of her degree, this month, said: "I was quite upset at the prospect of having to have surgery for a second time and how this would affect my studies. 

"But the team have ensured I was able to have the surgery, still complete my studies and be healed in time for the start of my nurse placement, which ironically is on orthopaedics!  

"I am so thankful for everything the team have done for me." 

Megan's surgery was carried out at the organisation’s centre for non-urgent surgery at the University Hospital of Hartlepool. 

It involved ankle ligament reconstruction and an augmentation using an internal brace technique.  

Megan’s first surgery involved a similar procedure but – due to her hypermobility – this resulted in an injury to the lateral ligaments, making her ankle unstable. 

Mr Limaye, who specialises in foot and ankle surgery, said: "We are delighted to be able to help patients like Megan, whose surgery was a complete success – leading to a rapid recovery postoperatively so she can now resume her nursing studies.  

"Any issue affecting joints really can affect people’s lives. It’s so important we returned elective surgery as soon as we possibly could so we could continue to serve our local population who have been patiently waiting due to pandemic.  

"We are pleased to be rapidly working our way through the backlog of operations and to be able to treat patients who waited several months for their surgery." 

Megan says she was inspired to sign up for the Adult Nursing programme, when she worked at North Tees Hospital in the Nursing, Patient Safety and Quality Department. She said: “I predominantly dealt with claims, coroner’s, quality and professional standards, as well as infection, prevention and control, and was influenced by the work I was surrounded by.” 

Despite reservations that she’d struggle with a university course, Megan says it has been the best decision she’s ever made: “I absolutely love it, I made the right choice and have made a fantastic group of friends. The programme is so interesting.” 

Megan hopes to eventually work in the areas of Tissue Viability when she eventually graduates in three years’ time.