Hindsight is a wonderful thing, here are 10 things I wish I knew as a Student Nurse and If I could send a message back in time I would.
Training to be a nurse will change my outlook on life
I’m not saying that before my training I was a selfish self-absorbed person, but from week one my training and my current nursing role have made me more aware of the world around me, more aware of the daily struggles of the people around me and certainly more aware of myself and my own needs and limitations.
Im not going to enjoy every day
I’ll be honest and say I didn’t particularly enjoy my time at university. a rubbish day, a placement I didn’t enjoy, a difficult assignment, missing friends birthdays or family gatherings- but if you can put up with the bad days the good days more than make up for it.
Being a student nurse is a difficult juggling act
Balancing the two roles of Student and Nurse is difficult enough- add in my personal roles as daughter and sister and then my job as a barmaid- and that’s a lot for anyone to handle. The only people that understand what I went through are the people I studied with, my fellow Student Nurses- I realised late in my course the value in a student community.
Lecturers and tutors are nice people
The people that I wish I would have gone to sooner with my worries and problems- my personal tutor continues to be a positive influence and beneficial contact 2 years after my qualification- no one goes into nursing education if they don’t like nursing students! Fact!
Don’t be shy, go get involved
The most enjoyable part of my uni experience was when I stopped worrying about coming across as pushy or enthusiastic- it opened doors I never imagined it would and its help me find what I most enjoy about nursing.
Smile and put up with family/friends assuming that you know everything about their sprain/mole/headache/backache/hiccups/funny looking mark/runny nose.
It took me a while to just shrug it off and not get annoyed at the incessant questions and funny looks when I said ‘I don’t know’, I now realise it was nice to get some recognition for the job I have and the knowledge I store away- just don’t let them send you pictures!
Not all mentors want to be mentors
Take responsibility for your own learning, grab onto good mentors and let them teach you everything they can, and make a promise to never be one of those bad mentors! Every nurse was a student once.
Every experience is a good experience-
Even the worst day can teach you something- sounds like one of those fluffy says but seriously some of the most profound lessons I have learnt have come from bad experiences.
The power of positive reinforcement
Don’t just moan about the bad, praise the positive and make the good great! Let people know when you have enjoyed something, it means they will do it again, and don’t be scared of offering feedback.
Nursing is huge
There are so many branches and specialities, never settle, keep learning. Nurses are a community so engage with it and learn from it.