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Can you please read my questions about nursing? Trying to decide if this is a good fit for me.

13 replies

LiquoriceWheel · 15/09/2018 05:44

Hi everyone, I just found this topic and the first post I opened was the cucumber post Grin

I hope someone can help me explain the realities of nursing so that I can decide whether to go into it as a career. This is my list so far:

Long hours - 12 hour shifts (how is this broken up? Do you get breaks?)

Super early and late shifts (how are these allocated? I could do a graveyard shift now and then but I'd struggle if it was permanent)

On feet all day and running around a lot (see this as a positive)

Poo, blood, and other fluids (normal part of the job that I'll get used to in time)

Difficult patients (are there a lot of violent patients?)

Being a nurse first (putting personal beliefs aside. Treating all patients the best you can even if they are murderers, racist -other horrible things-)

Having 'thick skin' (have read a lot on here that there can be a lot of bullying in nursing. Is that true?)

Studying and revision if you want to move into other branches of nursing (possibly a big expense)

Possible low wage (I've always been on low wages so this doesn't worry me unduly. Is the basic nursing wage enough to cover having a family if both parents were working? What I mean is, will I have to get a second job or can nursing wages provide for a 'basic childhood')

Huge responsibility of caring for others (do you ever go home feeling guilty or anything like that? Is it a job that you can switch off from when you leave the building?)

That's all I can think of at the moment. I know it's not a glamorous job but I really like taking care of people and practical hands on tasks. I'm nearly finished a diploma in beauty therapy and while I love all the girly/pampering stuff I don't feel like it's enough for me, personally. That's why I thought about studying nursing. I'm not scared about working intimately with other humans anymore.

Sorry for the essay but this has been stressing me out for so long and I don't know any nurses in real life, please can someone help me. Thank you.

OP posts:
smurfy2015 · 15/09/2018 07:48

@LiquoriceWheel Im writing a reply to you so keep an eye out for it as its a slow process

NerrSnerr · 15/09/2018 07:59

Long hours - 12 hour shifts (how is this broken up? Do you get breaks?)

Most places do a mixture of early shifts (7-3), late shifts (2.30-9), long days and night shifts (8.30-7.30) (times are approximate, depends on ward/ hospital etc)

Super early and late shifts (how are these allocated? I could do a graveyard shift now and then but I'd struggle if it was permanent)

It depends on where you work but it's likely on a hospital ward you won't get to choose. Some places only so long days and night shifts, others do a mixture. When doing nurse training you'll have to do a mixture of all the shifts on placements.

On feet all day and running around a lot (see this as a positive)

Yes- it's tiring. Some places have more running around than others.

Poo, blood, and other fluids (normal part of the job that I'll get used to in time)


Difficult patients (are there a lot of violent patients?)

Depends on where you work and what area of nursing you go in. A&E has lots of drunk people who may be violent, elderly care has people with dementia or delirium who may be violent, a psychiatric intensive care unit has people having an acute episode who may be violent. Or people could just be arsed and be violent.

Being a nurse first (putting personal beliefs aside. Treating all patients the best you can even if they are murderers, racist -other horrible things-)

You just have to. You get used to it

Having 'thick skin' (have read a lot on here that there can be a lot of bullying in nursing. Is that true?)

I don't know if it's different to other careers?

Studying and revision if you want to move into other branches of nursing (possibly a big expense)

People used to be dual trained all the time (so be trained in adult and child, or adult and mental health nursing) but you'd have to pay to do majority of your training again to train to do another branch (branches are adult, child, mental health and learning dis). People don't train in more than one branch nowadays (I don't know anyone anyway)

Possible low wage (I've always been on low wages so this doesn't worry me unduly. Is the basic nursing wage enough to cover having a family if both parents were working? What I mean is, will I have to get a second job or can nursing wages provide for a 'basic childhood')

There's room for promotion. You could do bank shifts on top. If both parents were working it's not low though. I don't know exact starting salary but if you google agenda for change and look at band 5 it'll tell you.

Huge responsibility of caring for others (do you ever go home feeling guilty or anything like that? Is it a job that you can switch off from when you leave the building?)

I sometimes feel sad when others have massively shit situations and when I'm lone working (I work in community) the responsibility hits me sometimes but you get used to it.


I think from the questions asked it's going to be shifts that'll be the sticking point. You won't get to choose when training and 9-5 jobs are rare for newly qualified nurses. I think you'll have to accept that for the first few years that shifts (including nights) are inevitable.

bychoiceornot · 15/09/2018 08:23

12 hour shifts - They tend to end up being about 13 by the time you are finished, if your Trust is working on the 12.5 days and nights, but in exchange for that, you get more days off a week, so that is a positive. It does take some getting used to, but you will find lots of tips and tricks to cope, and lots of people say they prefer them, due to the days off as I mentioned. There are also lots of nursing roles that don't require those long shifts, or nights, including some nursing homes, community nursing, practice nurse etc. The breaks at my Trusts have all been (ideally) half an hour in the morning and half an hour in the evening, but I won't lie, it does depend on the area in which you work, and how busy it is. You are entitled to and should have your break, but nurses worry about patient safety of course, and it helps to have a Ward Sister who will step in and insist you go while they cover for you. Each ward/role/department will have their own set up. Some Trusts will do days and nights mixed, meaning it is harder to get into a pattern, whereas some will do a week of nights, then a week of days, or similar. Then there are the aforementioned non-night jobs as well, so try not to worry too much.

Again, Trust-dependent but most places I have been where nurses are needed 24/7 have been 7am-7:30pm and 7pm-7:30am. Nursing homes I have worked in have done 7am-3pm and 2pm-10pm (with a separate contract for night nurses), and those hours again I have found are easy to get used to after a little while. I would find Monday-Friday 9-5 very odd now!

On feet all day; again tips and tricks such as flight socks and good shoes and good hydration; I always think at least I'm saving money on the gym!

Bodily fluids used to worry me too, but I honestly feel you get used to them very quickly, and they may even start fascinating you. During your training you may be offered things like witnessing a post mortem, which I found to be incredible interesting and also zipped any concerns I had over body parts, functions etc. Just remember your hand wishing and infection control and you will be great.

Patient groups vary from area to area. Bear in mind that patients in hospital tend to be scared, in pain, vulnerable, lacking in freedom and choices, frustrated etc. They need our empathy and support, and often when rude will apologise later when feeling better. Now this isn't to say that always happens, and you will be given the tools and training to deal with aggression and unreasonable behaviour.

It can be hard of course when you learn something about a patient and you have a moral objection to an action or belief of theirs. However we are there to nurse, not judge outwardly (inwardly; of course I try not to but I am human, and I believe it's how you act or rather don't on your feelings, rather than not having feelings at all, that matters). Again, this will come with time.

The responsibility is the area I don't think will ever change. If you become complacent or apathetic, that is when I would worry. For better or for worse, your job is to look after the well-being of another human, and that carries huge responsibility. However, you will have evidence-based policies and procedures to follow, you will always have a senior team to refer to and ask for support, and you will learn the signs to look out for that trigger an 'oh crap, need to call for help right now' reaction. I wouldn't say I switch off 100%, but I work on rationalising my concerns and I take a lot less home with me than I used to.

I would say that nursing is a vocation, and if you are meant to be a nurse, you will find that things like the hours and the pay are secondary.... a little like being a parent. Lots of hardships and negatives, but far outweighed by the positives, and feeling that it is worth the effort for the outcomes for yourself and your patients. I wish you lots of luck if you chose to go down that route, and even though my training and experience as an RN has been challenging, I don't regret any of it and it has also been fun, interesting and moving, as I am sure it would be for you.

Sorry for the essay in reply!

slippermaiden · 15/09/2018 08:24

I'm a nurse, trained aged 18 when I was young free and single. I was paid to do my nursing with a bursary and I did part time work at weekends so I came out with a nursing diploma and no debt. Fast forward 23 years Shock and I'm not sure whether I made the right career choice. I have made friends for life and met my husband through it but I really wanted to work with horses.
My shifts are 0715 to 1945, or 1915 to 0745, I only work nights. Full time people do 3 shifts for 3 weeks and on the 4th week do 4 shifts. I am seriously part time, get paid less but also pay practically no tax.
There are no perks of the job like there used to be, no free lunches or free pens, no going home early because it's quiet.
I've seen a lot of shit in my time, people at their worst, drunk, over dosed, psychotic, I've seen shit coming out of places it shouldn't do, and in all sorts of colours and had to clean it up many times!
I have been threatened but only by little old ladies with dementia, I've seen one nurse mistreat a patient and had to report it.
In the positive side, I work with amazing colleagues, I now work on the neonatal unit so I work with amazing families, I have seen lots of babies being born and feel so privileged to share these intimate moments with strangers. I work with an amazing team of nurses and doctors and always have done, each shift we talk and eat nice food, and support each other through hard times. We drink tea til it's coming out of our ears some shifts and others we don t stop working until the end of the shift, getting a drink brought round if we are lucky.
If I had my time again I probably would still do it but mainly because of the people I have met not the amazing salary!

mrsm12 · 15/09/2018 08:26

Long hours - 12 hour shifts (how is this broken up? Do you get breaks?)

Where I work it's 0700-2000 on day shift, 15mins in am and 45 at lunch, depending on how busy might grab a cuppa in afternoon but doesn't happen too often.

Super early and late shifts (how are these allocated? I could do a graveyard shift now and then but I'd struggle if it was permanent)
Generally days and nights are shared equally, nights every 5-6 weeks where I am and every other weekend.

On feet all day and running around a lot (see this as a positive)
It's tiring but good shoes and you get used to it

Poo, blood, and other fluids (normal part of the job that I'll get used to in time)
Again you get used to it and don't even notice after a while

Difficult patients (are there a lot of violent patients?)
Depends on the area, ae/psych/dementia ward more common but you do get a bit everywhere

Being a nurse first (putting personal beliefs aside. Treating all patients the best you can even if they are murderers, racist -other horrible things-)
You just can't think about it. They are your patient and everything else doesn't matter.

Having 'thick skin' (have read a lot on here that there can be a lot of bullying in nursing. Is that true?)
I don't find a lot of bullying amongst staff but patients can be impatient and irrational and you are their first point of contact so get a lot of it but for most it's a stress response and will apologise after.

Possible low wage (I've always been on low wages so this doesn't worry me unduly. Is the basic nursing wage enough to cover having a family if both parents were working? What I mean is, will I have to get a second job or can nursing wages provide for a 'basic childhood')
It's liveable and bank shifts are nearly always available to top up.

Huge responsibility of caring for others (do you ever go home feeling guilty or anything like that? Is it a job that you can switch off from when you leave the building?)
Yes, often feel I could have done more and some patients get under your skin and you can't switch off from thinking about they are at home but in my mind that's part of what makes you a good nurse.

smurfy2015 · 15/09/2018 10:02

I worked as a carer and a support worker until I got my place on a nursing course, however, I became ill 2 weeks before I was due to start and had to defer and as I didn't recover I had to give up my place.

But I will fill you in from what I do know. Im writing from the point of if I had become a qualified nurse and from my experiences as a carer in a nursing home and a community support worker.

Soz I know this is long and very detailed but I hope it helps you in some way, add on any questions you have and Il try and help

I don’t know exactly what level or where you are at so Im going to throw a load of stuff at you and you can check out links and see from there

Shifts in my experience can be 7.45am to 8.30pm and somedays there isn’t time for proper breaks, so may be a cup of tea and stuff food into you between patients – its often like this and don’t always guarantee getting out on time as when you are the responsible nurse all the charts have to be completed before you leave and handover,

Breaks are included in the shift time but in theory you cant leave the ward unattended if you are the only nurse as if your patient in bed 10 arrests, you need to be there – it stops with you for this as you are the qualified person.

As a HCA there has to be at least one person covering your area / bay and looking out for your patients in your absence. You don’t have the same responsibility level as a nurse, they have had 3 years training and a degree which is 50/50 clinical and theory.

if its not charted it hasn’t happened. It all has to be recorded with actions taken and escalated where needed (for example if the MEWS score indicates it) This explains MEWS scores for example,
www.wsh.nhs.uk/CMS-Documents/Trust-policies/251-300/PP(15)271ModifiedEarlyWarningSystem(MEWS).pdf

There may be shorter shifts which could be till 1pm or 5pm and twilight shifts which could be from 4pm to 12pm. As a nursing student at least in my region you are also expected to do nights and placements anywhere in the geographical region.

Handover needs to happen at the beginning and end of shifts to bring the nurses / HCAs up to speed on patients and who needs what care and at what level – it is recommended that to keep note of all the patients on your ward that you use SOAP notes - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SOAP_note and the en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Change-of-shift_report

As a nurse you will be developing nursing care plans for each patient - rcnhca.org.uk/46-2/care-plans-and-protocols/care-plans/

Shift patterns – just going from my local trust – 2 weeks on days / 2 weeks on nights / 1 week off

Super early and late shifts – if you are on nights you will be leaving at 7,30am or whenever handover is done for the next shift – if you are on days and handing over in the evening when all the charts are completed and all paperwork up to date and handover done – the shift may finish at 8,30pm but realistically it could be 9am when you actually walk out the door

On feet all day and running around a lot – don’t expect sitting down at all, it will exhaust you. You will also over time probably develop what i heard described as “nurses conditions” sore back, sore arms, sore wrists. While you will get manual handling training when moving someone on a transfer board you will be leaning and lifting putting strain on those areas – watch real life emergency type programmes and watch for them lifting and transferring from the ambulance trolley to another bed (on count of 3, 1-2-3), watch the lift carefully. If you were working for example in a&e you could be doing that several times a week and thats hard on the body as you can be leaning across a trolley

Poo, blood, and other fluids – yes, yes and yes – here is a list of possible types of body fluid you could come into contact with – 38 different types - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_fluid - helping collect samples and preserve them correctly and fill in the documentation to go to the lab, knowing which samples for example with blood need to be put in fridge which need to go asap which are routine

Difficult patients (are there a lot of violent patients?) – really cant comment on that as people can come across difficult for many reasons such as they are scared, they cant communicate effectively and get their needs across, they are under the influence of some of the prescribed medications which may be having unwanted side effects (for example never give me diazepam or any in that family as instead of the calming influence its intended to have I get agitated and aggressive, when Im not that in real life).

Your patient who seems difficult may be scared of being in hospital and needing care, they may be phobic about hospitals, medical professionals or any number of things. They may have a diagnosis of alzeheimers or they may be suicidal or under the influence of illicit substances. It can be any thing or none of the above.

What branch were you thinking OP?
www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/

have a look at that site to get a feel for different aspects, have you thought about what type of nursing you would like to do (there are different pathways in nursing for the degree adult (so the nurse you would meet on a medical / surgical ward), childrens, mental health and learning disability) all equally rewarding

Being a nurse first and foremost – the patient may call you names or be aggressive to you for some or none of the reasons above, they may be verbally abusive or physically aggressive and it takes making a connection with them to try and first difuse the feelings and put your own feelings at that moment aside to try and work with the patient to work out what is going on – they may not be able to articulate to you

Nursing and caring is a privledge – when a lot of us entered this world we were met by a midwife assisting our mothers at the birth, They are also cleaned the amniotic fluid from our heads and make sure we had a clear airway before getting us cleaned up and wrapped ready to be handed to our parents, Thats the joyous bits when everything goes right.

This is MN so you prob know what all can go wrong. They will be checking during delivery that the umbilical cord is where it should be and not placing baby in danger.

We most likely come into contact with nurses at different points in our lives but may not have recognised them as nurses each distinct in their own training but with a common core – the HV, the school nurse, MH nurse, Community nurse, Treatment room nurse, Practice nurse in GP surgery and many more.

If someone dies in hospital, a nurse can often be the person holding their hand as they leave this life. As the phrase with the NHS “from the cradle to the grave”, a nurse will hold you as you come into the world and often is the one who is with you if you die in hospital. They are the ones who liaise with the familes, call a Dr to certify time of death and sometimes last offices. www.cmft.nhs.uk/directorates/mentor/documents/Lastoffices.pdf

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nursing - see theory and process
if you glance down that page you will see a couple of other catagories – activities of daily living and patient education.

smurfy2015 · 15/09/2018 10:04

Medication wise - Nurses do not have the authority to prescribe medications, with some exceptions. To be able to prescribe they must undertake another learning module/training and be observed and present their studies to peers.

All medications administered by nurses must be from a medication prescription from a licensed practitioner.

Nurses are legally responsible for the drugs they administer and there may be legal implications when there is an error in a prescription and the nurse could be expected to have noted and reported error.

If you are ever visiting someone on a hospital ward and you see a nurse with a red tabard on them, DO NOT interrupt, unless you are about to arrest there and then. (tongue in cheek). They are doing the meds round and every single tablet, capsule, lotion and potion on that trolley they are responsible for.

They have to make sure that the patient and the medication meets the criteria

The "5 rights of medication administration" refers to five checks that nurses should always carry out before administering a drug.
They are:
• Right patient – the dose of warfarin intended for Mrs Jones in bed 2 who is in with a stroke could kill Mrs Smith in bed 3 as she has a gastic ulcer – and this is going to make her stomach bleed more – not good
• Right dose – from my own experience, I was feeling very sick after getting x med 2 mornings running until I realised something and queried the dose and was told it was my normal so I insisted on seeing the chart, of course I was feeling ill as the dose was treble what it should have been and the extra 2 tablets weren’t noticed in the 20+ tablets I take each morning.
• Right drug – in the above case it was the right drug but was too much
• Right time – if as the nurse am you giving up sleeping tablets at 9am and wondering why the patient are sleeping all day
• Right route – this explains the different routes catalogue.pearsoned.co.uk/assets/hip/images/catalog/uploads/Olsen%20-%20Chapter%202%20for%20upload.pdf

Injections – subcutaneous – intramuscular –
Tablets – capsules – caplets – some tablets or caplets are enteric coated so they are not to be chewed or crushed as they are intended to dissolve in the small intestine
Oral drugs also come in liquid forms: elixir, syrup and suspension. An elixir is an alcohol solution, a syrup is a medication dissolved in a sugar and water solution and a suspension consists of an insoluble drug in a liquid base.

Parenteral medications Parenteral medications are those that are injected (via needle) into the body by various routes. Drug forms for parenteral use are sterile and must be administered using aseptic (sterile) technique.

The most common parenteral sites are the following:
✚ intramuscular (IM): into the muscle;
✚ subcutaneous (subcut): into the subcutaneous tissue;
✚ intravenous (IV): into the vein;
✚ intradermal (ID): beneath the skin.

Cutaneous medications
Cutaneous medications are those that are administered through the skin or mucous membrane.
Cutaneous routes include the following:
✚ topical: administered on the skin surface;
✚ transdermal: contained in a patch or disk and applied to the skin;
✚ inhalation: breathed into the respiratory tract through the nose or mouth;
✚ solutions and ointments: applied to the mucosa of the eyes (optic), nose (nasal), ears (otic) and mouth;
✚ suppositories: shaped for insertion into a body cavity (vagina or rectum) and dissolve at body temperature.

Some drugs are supplied in multiple forms and therefore can be administered by a variety of routes. For example, Voltarol (Novartis) (diclofenac sodium) is supplied as a tablet, dispersible tablet, suppository, topical gel or solution for injection.

Verbally: ask the patient their name, date of birth, if an in-patient also the hospital
number, if known.
✚ Visually: check the patient name band (if in-patient) against the name on the prescription
chart.

As a HCA / SN / nurse eventually, on a ward on a day to day basis there will be lots of helping patients with activities of daily living – (ASLs) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Activities_of_daily_living_assistance

The bare basics of ADLs consists of helping the patient mobilise (because moving around has been proven to help healing).

If the patient is unable to mobilise and is being cared for in bed, the minimum time it can take a bed sore to develop is 2 hours - so for these patients they need their position changed every 2 hours day and night, skin should also be checked many times a day as if a slight redness comes up it is better to get it and treat asa[ before it develops further.

Other basic tasks include bathing (that can cover anything from helping someone have a shower to bedbaths to washing groins ),

Toileting - you will end up helping people to go to the toilet urinary and faecal wise, you will smell some of the worst smells emitting from esp faecal matter - however you put on your PPE and carry on - if at all possible even if your stomach is churning, try not to vomit in front of patient –

imagne if you were the patient and your nurse / hca was to vomit around you as your body fluids was so foul ( a trick to help - put a blob of vicks vaporub or poundshop version under your nose and thats all you can smell). If needed to take a sample from a bedpan - take it to the sluice as then if you puke you have somewhere to do it out of the patients line of sight

Bedmaking, helping people get dressed / undressed and helping to feed those who require help - go slow as I have been fed many times and the speedly ones dont give you time to chew never mind swallow, my last hospital admission I told off a nurse as while he helped me eat cornflakes he would ask me something the second the cereal went into my mouth - I couldnt answer,he just realise what he was doing (by his own admission)

Having 'thick skin' –
This is needed in many jobs but esp nursing, you and your colleages are all under pressure, the Drs are doing a ward round so you as the nurse need to go around so you know what is happening with each patient, the Drs are stressed and snappy, you haven’t had any breakfast, there hasn’t been time for a lunch break and its 5pm, You have been on since 7.30am. Your DS is in the school play that night. The patient in bed 6 is severely unwell and you need to ring her family and ask them to come in. The consultant is arguing the toss with her junior drs and there is a teaching session for physio or OTs going on down the ward. Due to the patient in bed 10 who passed away an hour ago, you are waiting on the family to arrive and have prepared the body with last offices. You have a headache, someone is playing a radio too loud. You have at least an hours worth of charting and you feel like you just want to go out into the car park and scream your lungs out –that would leave the ward uncovered and a drugs round is due. You really want to jack it all in, but you know people are depending on you right now. Thats just an example of a thick skin, a lot of it is out of your control but is affecting you but you still need to remain professional, compassion and take a deep breath (this too will pass) then you get someone to get you something easy to eat and you cram food into you because getting your break isn’t going to happen most of the time due to no staff cover and nip into the staff locker room and stuff yourself before getting back out there to meet the family of the patient in bed 10.

Other things to consider – academic ability
Even though you may be doing 13 hour shifts, you are still expected to be studying, learning on the job, observing and keeping an eye on patients and watching for signs of detoriation of changes of cognitive level or otherwise. As a SN you are also expected to learn about the conditions that the patients on your ward have and what it is, what causes it, what parts does it affect, what is the prognosis, what treatments are available, reasons for one over the other how does the patient see this from their angle.

Personal characteristics and skills
www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/explore-roles/nursing/roles-nursing/adult-nurse/personal-characteristics-and-skills-required-adult-nursing

Info on what the course is, course costs, other info, intakes,
Nursing degrees generally have 2 intakes, September and February/March – there are a minimum of 112 UCAS points needed – info I used is for adult nursing from Liverpool John Moore just as an example

About your course
As part of the professionally-accredited BSc (Hons) Nursing with Registered Nurse Status (Adult) at Liverpool John Moores University you will complete supervised clinical practice within both traditional and community hospital settings as well as outside hopsital environments. Plus you will develop

smurfy2015 · 15/09/2018 10:05

essential clinical skills on campus using facilities in our £1.6million clinical practice suites.

• 100% of our adult nursing graduates go on to find employment or further study within six months of graduating (Unistats 2017).
• Clinical work experience with 4-6 placements guaranteed per year in a wide variety of healthcare settings.
• LJMU has recently invested over £4million in the Faculty's teaching and learning environment, including £1.6million in developing professional-standard clinical practice suites
• Finalist for Nurse Education Provider of the Year (pre-registration), Student Nursing Times Awards 2017
• While on placement, students still have a dedicated study day each week providing our students with the opportunity of contact and support at all times

Additional course costs

Travel costs to placements and parking if using a car whilst on placement. However, you may be able to claim reimbursement of travel costs through The Learner Support Fund provided by the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA).

Students who would like to buy extra uniform items, further to their standard uniform which is included in the course fees, have the option to do so. International experience may incur costs.

“Minimum points required from qualifications
112

Application and selection
We shortlist applicants based on current qualifications, predicted grades, references and personal statement. We are looking for evidence of voluntary, paid or life experiences of caring for adults.
Additionally, applicants should demonstrate a clear commitment to Adult Nursing.

Above all, we want students who are committed to providing the best possible treatment and support to those in their care, with a strong desire to continually develop and improve their skills as an Adult nurse and nursing practice as a whole.

You will need excellent communication skills, good time management skills, a willingness to work flexible shift patterns and long hours. You will have an ability to combine academic study, clinical work and family/social life, and a strong commitment to study and work.

Other Information:
Satisfactory Medical Clearance/Examination. We will contact you direct to undertake this.
Satisfactory DBS check (Disclosure and Barring Service - formerly CRB.) We will contact you direct to undertake this and further information can be found at www.gov.uk/disclosure-barring-service-check
In addition, applicants will have to follow Faculty procedures for declaring any convictions after interview.
The ideal applicant will have had some form of caring experience - voluntary or paid - prior to application.


Adult nurses care for adults of all ages in both acute and long term care. On the BSc (Hons) Nursing (Adult), you will gain the skills, experience and confidence to be an effective healthcare professional, with particular aptitude in key areas such as caring, counselling, managing, teaching and interpersonal skills, which are essential to improving patient care and quality of life.

You will have plenty of opportunities for hands-on practice within a variety of settings including the traditional hospital environment and also the community such as nursing homes, home environments, clinics and treatment rooms. This experience will give you vital skills in assessing, planning, delivering and evaluating patient care and needs

You will also become proficient in measuring and recording physiological observations, moving and handling, resuscitation, drug administration, communication skills and personal hygiene delivery so that by the time you qualify, you will have the confidence to deal with real patients in the NHS, private and voluntary settings right from the minute you start your professional career.

If you are excited by the idea of seeing how health care delivery works
in other countries, there may be opportunities to study in Europe. This can involve a period of study and practice in one of our partner universities in Finland or Uganda.

I think this is usually done Erasmus but not sure how that will work re Brexit. Info on fees and busaries
www.ljmu.ac.uk/discover/fees-and-funding/undergraduate-finance
www.gov.uk/nhs-bursaries

Studying and revision if you want to move into other branches of nursing - while you are a student (going by my local university, its 7 weeks in classroom teaching that includes practicals, lab work all within a simulation centre and 7 weeks out where the student is placed in a nursing environment and has a set of competencies to meet.

The student has a mentor on their placement to help guide them and meet their competencies and they are also helped and assessed on the job by a preceptor – (The preceptor is an experienced registered nurse who is enthusiastic about the nursing profession and has a desire to teach)

You will still have study to do when on placement as for example, I have seen students on a psych ward for example and they are expected to learn about each med that each of their patients is taking, what is it for, what brain chemicals does it work on, how and why do they react, what are the side effects and what are the main interactions to watch out for. At least 90^ of this study has to be done in their own time, they are assessed on care plans and interactions with patients and their actions and when they have met a competency and basically all competencies are met by 7 weeks.

Even after qualification you are always learning, in order to get your Nursing PIN so you are officially a nurse, it takes roughly 6-8 weeks after qualification and you are now a registered nurse (adult, childrens, MH or LD), You are now on the qualified nurse ladder but you aren’t done learning by any means - www.flyingstart.scot.nhs.uk/learning-programmes/cpd/regulation-and-cpd/

You need to do at least 35 hours within the first 3 years after registration for CPD purposes (continuous personal development), this may be via 1-day courses which are accredited, online learning modules and other methods.

www.flyingstart.scot.nhs.uk/learning-programmes/cpd/regulation-and-cpd/

Possible low wage = www.nhspay.org/band-5/ - as a qualified nurse you would be eligible to apply for band 5 jobs

Huge responsibility of caring for others – there will always be moments of could I have done / something different but as long as you do your best and look after yourself and your patients that's the best you can do

Good luck if you got this far, come back and ask any other questions - don't be shy

LiquoriceWheel · 15/09/2018 15:33

Thank you so much everyone for your replies. Smurfy2015 thanks extra for all the effort and details you included, I'm still collating all the data Grin.

Will need to read over this thread again because one read through is definitely not enough. Thanks so much again. I'll post again later when I've made sense of everything.

Cake for all

OP posts:
SauvignonBlanche · 15/09/2018 15:46

Long hours - 12 hour shifts (how is this broken up? Do you get breaks?)
Most hospitals do 12 shifts, you wouldn’t do more than 3 in a row. You are entitled to breaks (and don’t get paid for them) but in reality sometimes you just aren’t able to take them.

Super early and late shifts (how are these allocated?) unusual shifts IMO

On feet all day and running around a lot (see this as a positive) Hell yes Grin

Difficult patients (are there a lot of violent patients?) Depends what sort of ward you’re on but it’s not usual.

Having 'thick skin' (have read a lot on here that there can be a lot of bullying in nursing. Is that true?) Sadly yes, in my experience though it is becoming less acceptable.

Studying and revision if you want to move into other branches of nursing (possibly a big expense) Does help with career progression though.

Possible low wage I’m on £43K though am a Band 7

Huge responsibility of caring for others (do you ever go home feeling guilty or anything like that? Sometimes though other Tim’s you can feel on top of the world by having made a difference to someone.

smurfy2015 · 15/09/2018 18:32

I want to correct some misinformation I gave you above, my mind was on other things so forgive me.

The shifts in my local trust are going for day shifts (3 x 13 hours) or it may be 1pm / 5pm finishes or coming in for a twilight. The night shift is from the handover until you handover the next morning and you may not get to sit down all night even to chart.

I was thinking of my friend who is working in the community as a carer who does the brutal shifts I said before - 2 weeks on days, (that can be 7am - 9pm) with 3 days off before rotating to mobile night carer who does the similar duties as the day but with clients who need additional night time support and don't want a sleep/waking night worker - 2 weeks of nights and then she gets a weekend off and back to days, she barely sees her son. she works for an agency who has a contract for some services with local trust and the agency is brutal.

She feels she wouldn't get another job and hates it as she is but can't afford to give it up.

smurfy2015 · 15/09/2018 18:42

If you are considering doing nurse training - see if your local library can source this book for you to have a look at - I am linking on amazon but I am linking the 2nd edition there is a more up to date one (4ed) as if you can't get it thru the library and wanted to buy it you will see the hints and tips and all the different angles and stuff that would be covered in training. www.amazon.co.uk/Student-Nurse-Handbook-Survival-Guide/dp/0702027308?tag=mumsnet&ascsubtag=mnforum-21

Covering a wide range of topics it will help you to:

Write assignments
Avoid plagiarism
Make the most of clinical placements
Cope with stress
Understand medical terminology and nursing jargon
Deal with legal and ethical issues
Make drug dosage calculations and administer medication
Create a portfolio
Reflect on your practice
Understand nursing models, theories and philosophies

It also contains copies of essential Nursing and Midwifery Council publications such as the Code of Professional Conduct, Guidelines for the Administration of Medication and Guidelines for Records and Record Keeping, and explains their relevance to you as a nursing student.

There is a lot to study but despite while all this might come across as a negative Nelly, I wish my health had allowed me to pursue it as I loved caring for people and being in the privileged position of supporting them when things were at their worst and helping them to absorb news (which usually wasn't good) and celebrating the successes with them.

It's the small things that count, patience, compassion, a strong bladder (something I don't have anymore) and the ability to think on your feet.

5SecondsFromWilding · 27/09/2018 10:30

You've been given a huge amount of information here OP. It's not as scary as it reads! I'm a 3rd year nursing student and am happy to answer any more questions you have.

Long hours - 12 hour shifts (how is this broken up? Do you get breaks?)
My usual trust has a standard working pattern of long days 7:30am-8pm or nights 7:30pm-8am. Most people taking hand over will do their best to let you go on time but if you've not done your writing, you'll get out late.

Super early and late shifts (how are these allocated? I could do a graveyard shift now and then but I'd struggle if it was permanent)
As a student one if the most frustrating things is having very little say over our shifts. You'll be expected to be unreasonably flexible and essentially fit yourself into the patterns of the placement area. Your university are also likely to change a year plan after you've tried to fit the rest of your life around it.

On feet all day and running around a lot (see this as a positive)
It definitely makes the shift go quicker. Nothing worse than a slow night shift Smile

Poo, blood, and other fluids (normal part of the job that I'll get used to in time)
You get surprisingly little prep from uni on this front. It's taken me until recently to find out that I can put poo in the macerator with the bed ban rather than having to empty out the bed pan first. But yes, it's something you get used to.

Difficult patients (are there a lot of violent patients?)
I work paeds. Violence is relatively rare but aggressive parents aren't.

Being a nurse first (putting personal beliefs aside. Treating all patients the best you can even if they are murderers, racist -other horrible things-)
This is a lot of why I chose to work with children. There's less of this.

Having 'thick skin' (have read a lot on here that there can be a lot of bullying in nursing. Is that true?)
More than I've seen in my previous career, yes. There are also old school nurses who trained on the job and treat degree students like they're inferior (especially when they're asked about something they're doing that isn't best practice). And there's still a residual attitude among some doctors that nurses should do as they're told. You've got to have some really thick skin if you're going to stick your neck out. I highlighted some issues in a placement area and my mentor chose to add some nasty remarks to my paperwork. The issues were addressed when I involved the university but those comments are still there for all to see.

Studying and revision if you want to move into other branches of nursing (possibly a big expense)
Some places still run dual qualification courses but I'd really recommend trying to train in the area you feel is best for you initially. A friend I'm training with actually wants to work in another FOP but couldn't get through at interview. Our FOP isn't what she wants to do and though I love her dearly, it shows. She'll also have to endure another degree if she does decide to retrain. And they really are endurance tests sometimes.

Possible low wage (I've always been on low wages so this doesn't worry me unduly. Is the basic nursing wage enough to cover having a family if both parents were working? What I mean is, will I have to get a second job or can nursing wages provide for a 'basic childhood')
Have a look at agenda for change pages for your wage. It's nowhere near what nurses deserve for the level of responsibility, training and intensity, but it's livable.

Huge responsibility of caring for others (do you ever go home feeling guilty or anything like that? Is it a job that you can switch off from when you leave the building?)
I'm quite good at switching off after a shift. You really do have to most days. But the good thing about the job is that once you've handed your patient over, someone else is responsible. It's like doing your bit in a relay race. The really awful shifts do stick with you though.

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