It’s a cold day in December, my alarm goes off at 05.30 and I rush to catch the bus ready for another day on placement. The sky is still dark and the cold hits my face. As I arrive, handover begins and I hear everything from bronchitic babies to overdosing teenagers – no two days are the same.
As we come out of handover, there are children’s medications that need to be drawn up, Naso-gastric feeds to be given and beds to make; and I wonder, where to begin? There are patients demanding, mothers crying and children screaming, who do I see first? As I think about where to begin, I remember I have an essay to write and an exam to revise for. Reality check – who would choose to become a nurse?
Then as the day goes by, I remember why: I settle a baby who’s been crying, I give a feed to a child who is hungry, comfort parents who are distressed and make a baby chuckle; the “thank you” from patients as they walk off the ward, moving on with their lives; the chocolate and cake the parents give as a token of appreciation for helping them as you cared for their child when they needed someone the most; the team you find yourself in as you learn the ropes, who support you and understand that you are a student but give you the opportunities to learn; the university that supports you with everything, no matter how big or small your problem is; the other students that you can discuss everything with that you have seen and all the emotions you have felt; your personal supervisor that picks you up when you feel like you can not cope any more; the results you open to find you have passed. As I get back on the bus in the cold and dark, I remember why I am a student nurse.
- How do you find the travelling?
I have been based in many areas of North Yorkshire and do not drive therefore I have to use public transport to get around. Although I have to get up early and get home late, the amount of opportunities due to the diversity across North Yorkshire enables me to gain a wide range of experience in different areas.
- How supportive is the department?
There are a number of university support services available for students. The Student Support Team help and give advice for a range of things including financial support, advice or pointing you in the right direction if you need further support. As well as students services you have a personal supervisor whilst you are at university, this enables you to have a more of a 1:1 with someone.
- How do you cope with theory and placement?
The key is to be organised. Sometimes it can be stressful but that is pretty normal with most degrees that other people have spoken about. It is also important to have fun – stay tuned for a future blog post to find out what opportunities there are outside the classroom.
Any other questions, please leave a comment and I will get back to you or point you in the right direction.