No, They Can’t Wash No Scrubs: Nursing Students Protest Eden’s Court Squalor

Student Nurse Circuit Laundry
Eden’s Court, Derwent

Nursing students living in Eden’s Court, an off-campus block part of Derwent College, have started a petition asking the university to provide more washing facilities after they have been left frustrated and inconvenienced by those available to them. At the time of writing, the online petition had 75 signatories.

There are approximately 45 new students living Eden’s court in addition to existing residents who need to also use the facilities. The students will soon begin working long, tiring placement hours, and will need to wash their uniforms daily.

Heidi Beal, a fresher living in the block who started the petition, said that:

“At present there is one washing machine which takes at least 30 minutes and one dryer which takes at least 50 minutes which costs a total of £4.50. In any other circumstance, this may be manageable, however, due to the high number of nursing and midwifery students currently living here, it has become clear that once we start practical placement work in January there will be a higher demand for laundry facilities.”

Beal felt that the lack of washing facilities provided could have implications for the safety and wellbeing of the students and their patients, adding “As a student nurse, I am required to wash my uniform on its own as soon as possible after wear in order to practice efficient infection control.”

Beal warned that if the situation continues it will pose a health and safety threat not only to the patients, but also to the residents of Eden’s Court.

Beal slammed the university of their apparent inaction on the issue, which has been raised in the past, telling Vision “having spoken to a STYC living here last year, I was informed that many members were forced to use the facilities in the early hours of the morning. Not only is this inconvenient but it again poses a risk to patient safety due to fatigue.”

The department’s website states that nursing students on placement are required “to work a full pattern of shifts, including nights and weekends, early and late shifts”, so it is easy to imagine how simply providing more washing machines could make their lives easier.

The students are hoping that this time the University listens to their concerns and increases the facilities available before the problem worsens. “The necessity for sufficient laundry facilities is evident in these special circumstances…we see it as an absolute necessity that additional services are planned for and built immediately.” said Beal.

University of York NurSoc

Megan Cook, the President of Nursing Society at the University, told Vision:

“It’s absolutely ridiculous if there is only one washing machine between that many people…not only for nursing students (where we’re advised due to infection control to wash our uniform after each shift) but for everyone else too! I know I’d feel bad for ‘hogging’ the washing machine two to three times a week for up to two hours at a time.”

Rachel Moore, president of Derwent JCRC, said:

“As chair I am fully behind any petition to improve facilities across Derwent, especially in particular cases such as that of the nurses in Eden’s court, unfortunately the matter is out of the hands of the JCRC and the college, but we will do our utmost to make our support known.”

You can support Eden’s Court’s Nurses by signing their petition here.

One thought on “No, They Can’t Wash No Scrubs: Nursing Students Protest Eden’s Court Squalor

  1. I lived in Eden’s Court in 2014/15 and we tried to get laundry facilities back then and nothing was done. We were told by Derwent that the water supply couldn’t cope with laundry facilities, and were basically just ignored. Our house in Eden’s Court was so inadequate that we were eventually compensated for it by the uni after an article was published by Vision about it. We barely had hot water for an entire year. I can’t believe students are still having to put up with this 3 whole years later. It’s completely unacceptable. Nursing students are under enough pressure without having to worry about washing their uniforms.

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