AMA - Student/soon-to-be-qualified nurse
byhookorbycrook · 07/07/2018 12:16
I'm really enjoying these AMAs, thought I would jump on the bandwagon! I've had some very interesting conversations about student nursing and going into the profession, so if anyone has any questions or wants to chat around this particular area, please feel free!
NickMyLipple · 07/07/2018 17:19
Are you feeling disillusioned about the state of healthcare in the UK? Are you excited to become a nurse?
byhookorbycrook · 07/07/2018 18:59
Brilliant name, by the way!
I go through stages of disillusionment in the state of healthcare, as I'm sure do most of us in the UK, whether working in healthcare or not. I feel - if I may nick a phrase from a post I see quite often on my social media - that the NHS is being failed, rather than failing. Of course, NHS is not the sole provider of care in this country, but it is a biggie, to say the least, and we are under huge burden. But I think most people who go into any healthcare profession do so because they truly care, it's not for the hours or the pay!
When I go home and reflect on the day, or am in the car with my mentor following a particularly disillusioning visit, I am saddened by how often I feel there is no straight fix or answer for the vulnerable person who is in your care at that moment. I often find myself thinking 'I wish I could just wave a wand and take this away from you'. Not realistic I know, but that is one huge lesson I've had to learn; we cannot always make things better, or take away people's pain, frustration and suffering to the extent we'd like. I will keep going, because even if I don't believe in the government's promises or abilities at present, I can't allow myself to think it's all for naught.
Given all that, I am still very excited to be a registered nurse! Terrified, but excited.
Justtheonequestion · 07/07/2018 19:02
Do you regret having chosen Nursing rather than another healthcare course such as OT?
Do you think you will be able to (or want to) keep it as a life career, or are you already thinking of something else?
byhookorbycrook · 07/07/2018 19:13
I was 29 when I began the course, and am 32 now, on qualifying. I've always wanted to be a nurse, I think due to my Mum, Grandmother, Uncle and many others in my family being nurses. I honestly never questioned it until about 6 months ago, when a physiotherapist on the ward asked me the same thing. It did get me thinking, and I do sometimes wonder if I have allowed a childhood dream override my faculties, and have applied for nursing as soon as I felt I had gained enough confidence and experience from working in care, rather than considering all my options and looking at it with less sentimentality and more sense.
I think due to my age, my (perhaps rose-tinted) memories of some of my experiences in training thus far, and the benefits of working for the NHS such as a (I am often told) fair and fairly secure pension, I aim to be in this career for life.
However, I have also known many nurses, both friends/family and those I have met during training, who have left or are desperate to, and tell me they are so much happier. So even though I think I still have that 'idealistic' head on right now, I do waver when it comes to thinking fully long term.
NoFucksImAQueen · 08/07/2018 09:52
You sound like me. I'm 29 and about to start my nursing degree in September. What advice would you give me/yourself if you could go back in time?
byhookorbycrook · 08/07/2018 16:00
First of all, the best of luck, I am sure you will enjoy your training. It will fly by!
Peer support is a huge boon. I moved to do my studies, so have a small but close group of friends on the course, who mean the world to me. If you are on Facebook, there is a good group called RCN Students (or similar) which has thousands of members, is properly run, and I have found invaluable for support and advice, it may be worth joining.
I would also suggest joining a union (e.g. RCN, Unison); it is especially cheap for students, you get freebies, and advice is always there.
Plan your assignments in good time, you will settle into your own writing and planning style as time goes on, but it's always better not to have to rush at the last minute, especially when you have placement alongside your essays etc.
You will take time to grow your confidence. My confidence has been the subject of almost every discussion with every mentor, and they have all been supportive but keen to make me see that I can do this. However it was my most recent mentor who said the one thing I needed to hear... it will come in time! I kept feeling like I was failing if I didn't get a skill or an answer right first time, but this mentor kept reassuring me that all I needed was time and repetition. It's hard to get that as a student, as almost as soon as you feel you have the hang of the ward/team, you move on. So please remember that when you qualify and settle into your first actual job, you will have the time and support to come into your own, even if you never quite felt like you got there 100% in placement.
Talk to your patients! They will note how you treat them and speak to them, more so than the physical help you give them. A simple smile and 'Hello, my name is * and I'm the student nurse supporting you today' goes a long way.
If you feel you want to ask anything as your course goes on, feel free to private message me. I remember what it's like to start this journey (feels like only a few weeks ago!) and there is no such thing as a daft question (this goes for on the wards too... ask and check if you are not sure. It keeps everyone safe.)
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